Previous Civility Week themes and presentations


Recap of Fall 2023: Sustainability Conversations and Considerations

A Sustainable and Resilient Earth

Presented by: EPA Scientist and Professor Dr. Harry L. Allen

With over 30 Years experience in environmental emergency response, oil spills and hazardous waste site cleanups, Dr. Allen presents a lecture and conversation on the imperatives for a Design Development Model for Sustainability. His work as an environmental science advisor in all 50 US States and 25 foreign countries highlights our responses to and responsibility for environmental protection. He specialized in bioremediation of soil contaminated with wood treating waste, oil, and pesticides. He is also responsible for creating and awarding the Boy Scouts of America Sustainability Merit Badge, an award that requires scouts to account for their personal goals and accomplishments for preserving the natural environmental balances for environmental protections and sustainability.

This presentation proposes that we each must embrace an environmental mindfulness, modeling after Native Tribal Nations’ respect for our resilient Earth.

Opening Keynote - Happyvism

Presented by: Justin Lopez

Happyvism aims to activate and spread joy throughout Black and Brown communities and beyond.

Lopez focuses on supporting educators and college access professionals in and outside of the K-12 and higher education classrooms, as well as supporting national efforts for students as a part of the federal TRIO programs.

Co-sponsored by: Angela Kariotis, Director Diversity & Inclusion/CCOG, Office of Government Affairs and Community Relations; Global Citizen Project; Wellness

Sustainability as it relates to human health and lifespan, a discussion of the Blue Zones

Presented by: Caitlin Raiten, Assistant Professor, Nursing and Jessica Domb, Instructor, Nursing

How can we make our diets and daily practices, and in turn, our lifestyles more sustainable? The Blue Zones project has used evidence-based research to help people live longer, healthier lives through nine simple practices. The term “blue zones” was coined by National Geographic Explorer Dan Buettner, who researched communities around the globe where people are living longer and enjoying a high quality of life in old age. This presentation will identify common principles used in the Blue Zones that have been found to contribute to individual longevity and have large-scale societal impacts. We hope to enhance your understanding of well-being as it relates to aspects of sustainability in order to help you increase your healthy life expectancy.

Sustainability - A 360 Analysis

Presented by: Dr. Rajkumari Wesley, Professor of Psychology and Faculty Coordinator, Global Citizenship Distinction Program; GCD Students: Kenneth Grant, Eden Pela, Jean Guerdy Paul and Morena Traditi

Students enrolled in the Global Citizenship Distinction Program will present different global perspectives and models of Sustainability and engage the audience in a discussion.

Sponsored by: International Education Center, Global Citizenship Distinction Program

The Myths of Independence: How to Sustain Relationships in the Age of Anxiety

Presented by: Professor Laura McCullough

An important part of the American ethos is the idea of independence because we connect that to the concept of freedom. But is it possible that also sometimes harms our most intimate relationships? The myth of independence is that we should be able to do everything on our own. The “pursuit of happiness“ sounds as if it’s just about the individual, but is that true? Increasingly we understand that interdependence is a core of life relationships; however, there are more pressures on relationships than ever. This workshop will unpack some of those pressures, how the myths work against deepening our friendships and intimate relationships, and some of the ways we can move toward healthier and richer ones during ever more anxious times.

Neurodivergent Students and Universal Design For Learning

Presented by: Heather Clarke

Consider Universal Design for Learning for liberated classrooms. Accessibility benefits everyone. Author of Tips for First Generation College Students

Hosted by: CCOG Angela Kariotis, Director Diversity & Inclusion/CCOG 

Closing Keynote Speaker: Andy Gold

Hosted by: Angela Kariotis, Director Diversity & Inclusion/CCOG

Andy Gold, Ph.D., is the Vice President of Strategic Engagement for NACCE. Prior to joining NACCE, Dr. Gold served as an Assistant Professor at Hillsborough Community College (HCC) and taught in the graduate school at the University of Tampa, and the University of South Florida. In addition to his teaching duties, Gold co-founded the HCC Innovation and Entrepreneurship Program and the InLab, serving as an internal entrepreneurial evangelist at HCC. He is a lifelong entrepreneur having started multiple businesses over the past 22 years. He is the founder of Terrapath, Inc., a social entrepreneurial venture started in 1994. Before starting Terrapath, Dr. Gold had a 12-year career in finance, working on Wall Street where he and a business partner raised $52 million in capital to start-up a hedge fund business.

Sponsored by: Angela Kariotis, Director Diversity & Inclusion/CCOG

Social Entrepreneurship x Sustainability in Business, President of the National Association of Community College Entrepreneurship (NACCE)

Recap of Spring 2023: Imagine Social Media Conscience

Civility and the Legal System: What We Can Learn from the Legal System About Fallacies to Develop Civility

Presented by James Fagen, Criminal Justice

Open Conversation - Freedom of Expression and the Constitution of the United States

Moderated by: The Student Development Committee & The Civility Week

LIBGuide Link:

Transcending Divisions: Does Social Media Allow Free Speech Globally?

Presented by: International Student Association, International Education Center

Open Conversations Social Monitoring Implications for freedom of expression and the call for Social Media Regulations

Moderated by: The Student Development Committee & The Civility Week

LibGuide link:

Who Follows Who-Using Social Media to Enhance Happiness, Health, and Well-Being

Presented by: Collaboration between the Wellness Center and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Link to add your social media follows:

The Great Firewall: How the Chinese Government Censors Information and Free Expression

Presented by: Michael Stone, Adjunct Professor of Seton Hall University

Open Conversation Social Monitoring Implications for Freedom of Expression and the Call for Social Media Regulations

Moderated by: The Student Development Committee & The Civility Week

LibGuide link:

Living Room Conversation: Free Speech, Hate Speech and Campus Life

Presented by: Angela Kariotis, Director of Diversity & Inclusion/CCOG,
Governmental Affairs & Community Relations

Pushing and Pulling: Media as Medium

Presented by: Elisa Elorza, Professor, Art
Trent Welcome, Professor, Graphic Design

Transcending Divisions: Globa Read Event The Book of Joy: Selected Readings and Discussion

Sponsored by International Education Center, Global Citizenship
Distinction Initiative, and Civility Week Committee

Social Media and the Agora: Musings on Civility and Antiquity

Presented by: Bryan Cocchiara, Philosophy Department


The Civility Research Guide created by Theresa Agostinelli provides links to books, articles, websites, videos, and databases related to civility. The LibGuide supports presentation topics and Open Conversation events. LINK TO Spring Civility Week LibGuide

Recap of Fall 2022: Imagine Social Media Conscience

A History of Civility

Presented by Dr. David Bassano, Professor, History

Keynote Address - Ukraine vs. Russia: Social Media as Wartime Propaganda

Presented by: Dr. George Reklaitis, Professor, History

Finding Balance: Getting to a place where social media works best for you and your mental health

Panelists:  Belinda Asamoah (student), Joie Bauman (student) Gina Giannattasio (Associate High Schools and Strategic Partnerships), Patrick Zavorskas (Hourly Wellness Center Team Member), Gina Ziegler (Hourly Social Media Administrator), Ken Pecoraro (LCSW, LCADC, CCS, CPC Behavioral Healthcare) and moderated by Dinneen Jackson (Director Wellness Center)

Social Media Around the World

Presented by: The International Education Center, International Student Association

PURPLE: America, We Need To Talk

A short film and community conversation uncovering our humanity beneath our national conflict.

Presented by: Angela Kariotis, Director, Diversity and Inclusion, GACR

The Internet was Not Designed for Security and Privacy

Presented by: Michael Qaissaunee, Professor, Engineering & Technology

Creating Connections with the Psychology and Human Serivces Club

Presented by: The Brookdale Psychology and Human Services Club

Radio for Hate, Radio for Peace

Presented by: Sara Brown, Director, Center of Holocaust, Human Rights and Genocide Education

Social Movement Technologies: Instagram & TikTok

Presented by: Angela Kariotis, Director, Diversity and Inclusion, GACR

The Social Dilemma. A film about the trappings of Social Media

Presented by: Stephen Fowler, Teaching, Learning & Technology, Instructional Designer; William Ryan, Professor, Languages and ESL; Ave Latte, Professor, Education
The Social Dilemma Official Trailer

Media as Medium

Presented by: Elisa Elorza, Professor,
Art Trent Welcome, Professor, Graphic Design

Effect of Social Media on Mental Health

Presented by: Dr. Rajkumari Wesley, Professor of Psychology & Faculty Coordinator, The Global Citizenship Distinction Program
Belinda Asamoah, International Student, Sophia Jimenez, Student, Mary Romanowski, Student

The Modotti Family: Immigrant Transnationalism before Social Media

Presented by: Ashley Zampogna-Krug, History

Recap of Spring 2022: Centering Our Collective Stories: Listening As an Act of Civility

Keynote Address - Civility in the Midst of Unrest

Presented by Minister Kerwin Webb, Pastor at the Second Baptist Church of Asbury Park and President of the Greater Red Bank Area NAACP.
How can one be expected to be civil in the face of danger and attack? Looking at 40-foot waves as they come rushing towards your dwelling is no time to be polite and calm.  In his keynote address, Minister Kerwin Webb, addresses the value of civility and probes the possibility of remaining civil even in the most difficult times.  Link to recorded presentation.

Civil Conversation - It Can Be Done!

Presented by Joe Ritacco, Board Member of the Monmouth Center for World Religions and Ethical Thought
Civil conversation is a skill that can be learned! Learning this skill can lead to improved, even repaired, interpersonal relationships and ease the formation of new relationships. Lastly, it can help you learn from others by asking those important, sensitive questions.

Understanding that People with Disabilities Are, in fact, People

Presented by Orrie Schulman, Founder of Caring With Compassion

Can Queer People Afford Civility?

Presented by Leah Wasacz, Brookdale Writing Center Tutor

Stories Behind the American Dream

Presented by Dr. Ashley Zampogna-Krug, Assistant Professor of History, & Frank Wyman Scholarship Students Jesus Calle Bula and Bianca Japitana
Examine a history of undocumented immigration in the United States through the stories of immigrants, both those of the past and those from today. Link to the recorded presentation.

Suffragist Speak: Race, Slavery, and the Fight for the Vote

Presented by Dr. Connie Goddard, Education Director for the American Association of University Women – Northern Monmouth County Branch, & Gilda Rogers, Adjunct Professor of History and Executive Director of the T. Thomas Fortune Cultural Center
Link to presentation.

Recap of Fall 2021: Transcending Divisions

Keynote Speaker: Steven Petrow, Award Winning Journalist and Author

The opening ceremony, featured keynote speaker, Steven Petrow an award-winning journalist who writes and speaks on the theoretical underpinnings of civility, its role in a just society, and how civility can be practiced every day. Petrow is author of the Civil Behavior column for the New York Times and the Civilities column for the Washington Post. His Ted Talk, 3 Ways to Practice Civility, has received nearly two million views.

Professionalism and Civility in the Workplace

Presented by Jill Donovan, director, Bill Kelly and Anne Laporta, assistant directors of Career, Leadership and Transfer Pathways
Resource links: Library Resources on Civility; Assess Yourself; Christine Porath Ted Talk

Opening Ceremony and Keynote Event - Closer Than We Might Appear: A Conversation on Connection, Communication and Civil Discourse with Steven Petrow

Moderated by Angela Kariotis, director of Diversity and Inclusion/CCOG

Link to recorded presentation

Self-Care Leads to Greater Civility

Presented by Professor Tricia D’Aloia Gandolfo, director of Nursing

Link to recorded presentation

Human & Humane: Trauma Informed, Non-Violent, Communication, and Compassionate Curiosity in the Classroom

Presented by Laura McCullough, professor of English

Link to recorded presentation

The Long Shadow: A Film Screening and Q & A with Director Frances Causey

Presented by Dr. Sara Brown, director of Center for Holocaust Human Rights and Genocide Education

Link to recorded presentation

To Be Civil Is To Be Stigma-Free

Presented by Sara Burrill, associate professor of Psychology, Maeve Harrington and Emily Maxim, students, Human Services 

Link to recorded presentation

Sociology, Self-reflexivity and Inequality

Presented by Dr. Diditi Mitra, associate professor of Sociology and Gabriella Green, student of Sociology

Empathy: Not Just a Feeling, But an Actionable Skill

Presented by Dr. Christine Greco Covington, associate professor of Psychology 

Link to recorded presentation