One of the aspects of our school we can take pride in is our alumni. After all, we’ve had some pretty amazing people walk through our campus as they attended our school. To celebrate the launch of The Odyssey at Monmouth, this list will be featuring 12 of the coolest to come from Monmouth.
1. In light of the USA’s victory at this year’s Women’s World Cup, first on this list is Christie Rampone, class of 1996 and captain of the U.S. women’s national soccer team. She’s played in four FIFA Women’s World Cup finals and four Olympics women’s soccer/football tournaments. And soccer wasn’t even her main sport at Monmouth -- it was basketball!
Christie Rampone will be returning to campus when Monmouth University hosts "Christie Rampone Night" on Sept. 7, 2015, where she will be honored in a pregame ceremony before the women's soccer team takes on Seton Hall.
2. This next one is for all you reality TV junkies – Anthony Beltempo, class of 1998 and the creator of MTV’s "Jersey Shore." He’s also worked at VH1, Sony, and Embassy Row. Supposedly "Jersey Shore" cast member Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino also spent some time at Monmouth – but only for a semester before he dropped out due to partying too much.
3. Throwback time! Who watched "Animaniacs" as a kid? "Dexter’s Laboratory?" "Johnny Bravo?" Jeff DeGrandis, class of 1980 (back when it was Monmouth College), studied at California Institute of the Arts before working on all of these shows as a storyboard artist. He also worked on the layout for "The Ren & Stimpy Show." Currently he works as an Executive Producer at Dreamworks.
4. Champion swimmer Wendy Boglioli, class of 1976 (further back when it was Monmouth College), won two medals at the 1976 Olympics. She won the gold medal in the women’s 4-by-100-meter freestyle relay and the bronze medal for the 100-meter butterfly. She’s served as assistant coach of the swimming and diving teams at Yale University, and is now a motivational speaker and long term care specialist.
5. "Survivor" fans ready – Stephenie LaGrossa, class of 2002, competed on three seasons: Palau, Guatemala (where she finished second), and Heroes vs. Villains. OK, so she transferred to Monmouth (from Temple University in case anyone’s wondering), but she was one of the most popular players on "Survivor." Today she works for radio station WRDW and she’s a co-owner of GIGI Restaurant & Lounge in Philadelphia.
6. Ron Lapin (class year unknown) was an Israeli-born American physician who pioneered “bloodless surgery,” based on his willingness to perform surgeries on severely anemic Jehovah’s Witness patients without the use of blood transfusions. He founded several bloodless surgery centers in Southern California before his death in 1995.
7. After being the first woman to receive a basketball scholarship to Monmouth, Trish Millines-Dziko, class of 1979, went on to become one of the “Microsoft Millionaires.” Today she is the co-founder and executive director of the Technology Access Foundation in Seattle, which started in 1996.
8. For all of you guys who watch "Law and Order" (well, maybe your parents watch it), David J. Burke, class of 1971, was an executive producer and writer for the second season of "Law and Order: Special Victims Unit." He’s also written for and produced shows such as "TriBeCa" and "Wiseguy."
9. Anyone who wants to work in the music industry might be envious of Robert Santelli, class of 1973, who served as vice president of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and is now Executive Director of The Grammy Museum. Hence why Monmouth is one of only four schools to be a university affiliate.
10. Monmouth graduates continue to make a splash on reality TV – Amber Marchese (class year also unknown) appeared on season six of "The Real Housewives of New Jersey," after earning her Master’s degree in Bio-Behavioral Studies/Exercise Physiology from Columbia University. She started her own fitness line, Vici Fitness, and is currently blogging about her second battle with cancer for People Magazine.
11. From writing prescriptions to writing books, Yvonne Thornton, from the class of 1969, is an obstetrician-gynecologist who has been listed in New York Magazine as one of the Top Ten Maternal-Fetal Medicine Specialists in New York City. She is also a bestselling author, mainly known for her memoir, "The Ditchdigger’s Daughters."
12. And last, but certainly not least, is Miles Austin. He’s currently a wide receiver for the Philadelphia Eagles, but he originally signed with the Dallas Cowboys and also served as a free agent for the Cleveland Browns. Granted, he was drafted into the NFL during his junior year at Monmouth, but he eventually finished his degree. Austin’s jersey was retired during a Monmouth basketball game back in 2014.