Thursday, October 19, 2017

Rutgers Senior Aspires to Use Beauty to Help NJ Youth

By: Kevin P. Stapleton

Morgan Brown, a senior at Rutgers University, is working to use beauty and fashion to help troubled youth in central New Jersey.

Brown, a 21-year-old from Franklin, New Jersey, is aiming at opening her own business and, later, earning a law degree, to help high school students who face various socioeconomic issues.

After she graduates, Brown aspires to open her own beauty business in New Brunswick and enlist disenfranchised and impoverished adolescents to work alongside her.

She hopes that her community outreach will help young people not only gain employment experience, but also enhance their confidence through the magic of makeup. 

Brown personally knows the importance of self-image, especially for those who do not have regular access to fashion products.

“I got into the beauty industry in high school when I started getting breakouts,” Brown said. “When you put on makeup, you can feel like a totally different person.”

She currently works 30 hours per week as a beauty ambassador at Chanel in Bridgewater. Her colleague Rosemary, a six-year veteran beauty ambassador at Chanel, helps advise and mentor Morgan during her time on the job. 

Outside of Rosemary’s mentorship, Morgan gains further professional development by attending a Chanel-sponsored makeup school once a month for three days. This school aids in furthering her ambitions for her career after Rutgers, where she has remained a full-time student taking 15 credits every semester while also working simultaneously.

Brown said she has been a student at Rutgers since September 2016. She is a double-major scholar, majoring in broadcast journalism and criminal justice.

The senior will graduate in January 2019 and will then seek to open her community-driven beauty business to help pay for a graduate-level education in law school, Brown said.

Before entertaining a beauty and fashion career, the junior found her business beginnings in the food industry. She initially worked as a restaurant hostess before working as a barista at Starbucks, she said.

With her intense double-major academic workload and a 30-hour work week, Brown has her work cut out for her.

Despite the time constraints every week, she remains focused on her primary goal: a community-driven beauty parlor. Brown said that her liberal arts degree will enable her to pursue her ultimate dreams of a career as a full-time beautician.

The next stepping stone to both her beauty parlor and an eventual juris doctorate lies at Chanel, she said.

Brown explained that while Chanel is just an entry-level beauty job, the professional experience she is gaining in Bridgewater will prove invaluable when she opens her own business and starts mentoring and training troubled teenagers in the art of beauty.

“I know that I have a lot of goals laid out ahead of me, but that’s what keeps me focused,” she said. “I am eager to not only graduate from college but also to start helping those who have no one around to really help them. It’s what keeps me going.”

Monday, March 6, 2017

How a Mother Pursued Her Dream

By: Olivia Guido

At 54 years old Misty Kennedy-Guido shows us that you’re never too old to stake your claim on what you love: soap making.

Taking life into her own hands she decided to open up her own business where she can sell her assortments of soaps, lotions, and bath bombs.

Soap making has become a very popular career. In 2017 many people are catching onto the fact that many products in stores are not the best for your body or skin.

Did this spark her curiosity? Guido laughingly said, “You know the show Breaking Bad? My family calls my basement ‘Misty’s Meth Lab’ because there is an endless amount of soap and oils scattered around.”

Jokes aside she explained, “It’s quite the process. You’re essentially adding in the main ingredient that makes the soap, boiling it to a high degree, and then adding in colors, and scents. It turns out to be a huge big bar and once it cools you just slice it up.”

It originally sparked her curiosity when she was walking through target and saw the ingredients in products were too confusing to read and pronounce, which made her think that could not be healthy, Misty said.

Guido being a huge advocate for a healthier lifestyle since she became a mother is what finally pushed her into the direction of natural soap making and wanting to share her creations with others.

As life became more consuming, her aspirations of using her knowledge of a healthier lifestyle had slowly disappeared.

She explained being a mother at the time to younger children along with being a wife and employee was a little too much to pursue soap making as a whole.

The challenge of trying to juggle several parts of your life at once was something she did not think she could handle when she was younger.

She mentioned how she wanted so badly to be that working mother that was able to go to all of her family’s activities while finding some time to herself to be able to make some creations.

It is a process that takes a lot of trial and error. Guido said, “You need to spend many hours figuring out what smells and products go together in order for it to be right.”

Twenty-three years later and both of her children no longer living at home was just the push she needed to reawaken her enthusiasm of all natural soap making.

Guido explained how she does not regret pushing her dreams back a little because in the end it all came together. She now has two children and a husband who fully support her.

“The best part of starting to pursue this career so many years later is having my grown daughters help and show me the ropes to social media and put my brand out there” She said.

With her hard work and determination she got her website up and running along with a Facebook page. Guido even got some of her soaps selling in stores around her town.

Rutgers Student Pursues Interest in Various Cultures

By: Martin Nalbandian

While studying journalism and creative writing as a sophomore at Rutgers University, Nile Batista uses most of his down time traveling around the entire globe in search of a good time and good people as well as a learning opportunity.

Unlike many of his colleagues at Rutgers, Nile enjoys the euphoric feeling that comes with traveling to a new place in the world. Locations that Nile has traveled to include Puerto Rico, Amsterdam, Italy and London. He has traveled to regions and locations that many don’t accomplish in their lifetime. And he’d love to keep going.
“The thing I love about it most is the people I meet at all of these places and finding out about their culture, it makes me want to keep discovering new areas,” said Batista.

Nile doesn’t only travel for entertainment purposes however, he plans on also studying abroad at some point during his college career. Traveling has proven to be a worthwhile way to further a career in journalism, as many journalists are able to make a career out of international reporting.
“Once you get past the initial shock of being in a new place, it becomes very easy to become accustomed to everything and accomplish bigger things like learning about everything the country has to offer,” he added.

Some also enjoy being in groups when they are traveling to a new place, but that is not the case with Nile, as he always prefers to travel alone, enhancing his experience in the foreign country by making his own decisions. Nile also is fond of creating new bonds in the countries he lives in, enhancing his communication skills with people all over.
It is also no coincidence that Nile chose Rutgers, one of the most diverse campuses in the world, as his next source of education. His love for different cultures and people are a higher priority over just some bland state school.

“Rutgers is really great because I feel that it helps me in preparing to face different aspects of life in all of these countries that I visit”
Batista is also an avid sports fan, pulling for soccer teams Liverpool and Manchester United of the English Premier league. While visiting England, he even had the opportunity of attending a match between the two.
“That was an amazing experience”, he mentioned. “Aside from the fact that I wasn’t sure who to root for, it was a great experience that I would totally do again”.
Nile is able to find a good balance between work and pleasure activities while he travels and hopes to become even better at those skills in the future. But for now, he is impressed with what he has accomplished.

“I hope to keep traveling and possibly have a career in it someday if I’m lucky, but for now I’m just taking it all in”.   

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Back to School: Rutgers Student Pursues College for the Fourth Time

By Genise Deal

Ken Kurtulik may have more anxieties than your average student at Rutgers University. He is a sophomore, that holds interest in technology, video games, and his 1992 Legend Sedan. This is the fourth time he's enrolled into an institution of higher education.

He is returning back to school after receiving a degree in advertising from Rowan University. Kurtulik studies journalism, in hopes of find  a career writing for technology magazines in San Francisco, California.

Once Kurtulik graduated Rowan University he struggled to find a job. He decided to come back to school for a second chance --but less enthusiastic. “College failed me the first time, I didn’t land on my feet,”Kurtulik said. Rutgers University is the fourth institution of higher education he's attended.

After a year at Penn State, Kurtulik returned home to attend Raritan Valley community college. There he would get his associates and go on to Rowan for a degree in advertising. Kurtulik realized into his last year of college that advertising wasn’t the right fit for him, he said.

“I don’t want to work in NYC and I don’t like what I’m learning but I felt committed to finish until the end,” he said. The only sensible choice at the time was to finish out his major-- more of an obligation than a choice. Kurtulik now lives with his parents in Branchburg, New Jersey and commutes to Rutgers.

Because of his previous college and life experience Kurtulik is now on the dean’s list student and plans to keep it that way. “I’m really here working a lot harder than I ever did the first time to insure that I am the best pick.” He claims to stay in the library for 12 to 15 hours a week.
Although Kurtulik may not interested in making friends he still keep up with other hobbies and extracurricular activities. He currently writes for the Daily Targum, he said.

His hobbies reflect his passion for technology. When not studying for school he is interested in learning more about new advances in the technology industry and enjoys playing video games. Kurtulick also owns a Canon 60d digital SLR camera and considers himself an amateur photographer. 

If you happen to have any questions about the 1992 Legend Sedan, Kurtulik may have all the answers. He occasionally attends 1992 Legend Sedan car gatherings, that may host 25 to 55 Legend Sedans in one area. These gatherings are for people with the same car to come hang out, he said. “People will bring food and beer, it’s like a big cook out and you just talk about your car.”

It’s not hard to imagine why Kurtulik was apprehensive when going back to school. “I was not a partier, I struggled to make friends as a result so I did not enjoy college the first time around.”

He feels his approach to education now, greatly differs from most of his peers. “Compared to most students here the 18 to 22 they are preoccupied with making friends, building hobbies, and going to parties --but I’m just here to win.” 

Rutgers woman pursues independent film, academia

By Ken Kurtulik – Feb. 24, 2017

Deal is pictured with her head on the desk, surrounded by various paperwork, a computer.
NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. – Genise Paige Deal, a Rutgers University senior, is torn between a life supporting independent film and a life in academia.

Deal, a 27-year-old senior, chose to study English at Rutgers after serving two years in a national community service corps. Now interning at Women Make Movies, she is torn between supporting the arts and working in academia, Deal said.

Academia offers the opportunity to interact with people, pontificate, learn and reprocess ideas, Deal said. So many job fields consign people to drone on through soul crushing careers.
“I feel that most things that we are given as a social construction are very disillusioned into this paradigm of productivity,” Deal said.

Deal does not care to buy into consumerist society and its circular demand for hard work with intangible results, she said. People work every hour of the day just to stay secure in their dead-end jobs.

The company Deal interns with, Women Make Movies, is a non-profit distributor and sponsor of independent films about women or produced by women, according to Women Make Movies.

The eight person non-profit Women Make Movies reviews 250 films each year, selecting just 25 to send to film festivals, Deal said. The company seeks out films that depict the untold perspectives of women’s lives. One recently supported film is “Sonata,” the story of a female opera singer that returns home to the Philippines to discover and overcome the mental maladies that halted her career, she said.

Deal said she found the altruistic nature of working for the non-profit hugely rewarding.
“We aim to find women, women of color and non-binary women who have a story to tell,” Deal said.
It is more than just the stories in these films that empower women, Deal said. One recently supported documentary about underage brides in Afghanistan allowed a girl to attend performing arts high school in the U.S. Without this film, the girl’s family would have sold her into marriage with a man from Iran.

Deal works primarily in acquisition and exhibition. Acquisition, Deal said, can involve receiving submissions from film makers, or discovering films on crowdfunding sites like Gofundme. Exhibition is when Women Make Movies creates a catalog to sell to a museum or school for showcase at events like women’s history month or African American history month, Deal said.

Deal’s tattoos, piercings and hair style do not conform to societal norms, she said.
 “I’m not going to sell out. It’s difficult because a lot of professional women and professional women of color look a certain way and act a certain way,” Deal said.

Being both a woman and a person of color, Deal struggles to identify the balance she prefers between living up to the professional reputation those groups have fought for and living up to the alternative standards she sets for herself, she said.

“I’m really open to where ever life takes me. I want to do something that either helps artists or facilitates the arts,” Deal said.

With ‘dry’ and ‘blunt’ humor, Rutgers student dreams of comedic stardom

By Camilo Montoya-Galvez 

NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. – While he currently crafts witty punch lines in his dormitory for his own consumption, Bill Hockman hopes to one day see his name on the credits of NBC’s Saturday Night Live.

The 20-year-old junior at Rutgers University is studying sports journalism, but sees his future in the filmmaking industry or writing comedy skits. Hockman is certain his humor can be put to good use – all he needs, he said, is somewhere to practice it. 

“It’s dry and blunt,” he said, referring to his comedic style with a prideful smile.

Because watching sitcoms like Seinfeld and The King of Queens was a family ritual in his household when he was growing up, Hockman said he naturally became exceedingly invested in comedy.

The native of Netcong, N.J., said he latches on to a particular comedian from time to time and religiously listens to their skits. Right now, he said he plays the podcasts of Canadian stand-up comedian Norm Macdonald on his phone before going to sleep on some nights.

“He’s old, but he cracks me up,” Hockman said as he continued to list his comedy heroes.   

Before he focused on a career in filmmaking and comedy, the 20-year-old said he was not entirely sure what profession he wanted to pursue after graduation. He thought that by studying sports journalism, he could channel his fervent passion for watching and playing sports, but he also knew that he did not want to be a typical sideline reporter.

Instead, he envisioned himself as a sports columnist and commentator of sorts, debating the day’s most compelling sports news in fiery discussions on a television show. 

“When I got into it, I had this misconception of it where you just watch these shows with columnists or the opinion dudes – and I was like ‘oh, it would be cool to do this,’” he said.

After he realized that sports journalism was not exactly what he had anticipated, Hockman rerouted his career goals. The internship he secured this spring semester has offered him a new professional course.

The Rutgers student is interning at Gulp, a Manhattan-based film company, where he pitches ideas for new television series, reality shows and commercials. He noted that this is the first time he has been exposed to the crafts of filmmaking and series development through hands-on work.

Continuing to develop, produce and write these types of television programming would be a dream scenario for Hockman, but his passion for comedy will always be an option as well.

For the time being, Hockman will continue to write as much comedy as he can for himself until he garners a wider audience. He said there is always going to be a need for comedy, and comedians like himself, because “it is important to laugh.”

“Life is kind of ridiculous sometimes,” he said. “If you are not able to have a sense of humor or if you take yourself too seriously, you are going to be sad person too often.”