12 of the Coolest Monmouth Alumni

12 of the Coolest Monmouth Alumni

Monmouth Hawks fly together, but these people soared once they left campus.

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.

Cover Image Credit: http://www.hitfix.com/blogs/the-fien-print/posts/hitfix-interview-stephanie-lagrossa-talks-survivor-heroes-vs-villains

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To the guy that shot my brother...


To the guy that shot my brother,

On January 9, 2019 my families entire life changed with one phone call. The phone call that my little brother had been shot in the face, no other details. We didn't need any other details. The woman on the phone who called us in full panic told us where he was so we went, as soon as possible. I don't think it helped that not even 10 min prior I talked to Zach on the phone.. kind of irritated with him, and the ONE TIME I didn't say 'I love you' as we hung up. Could've been the last time we ever spoke.. I remember pulling up to the hospital thinking 'this can't be real' 'it's not our Zach' 'this is just a dream Sarah, WAKE UP' I'd close my eyes really tight just to open them, I was still in the hospital emergency parking lot. I could still hear the ambulance sirens coming. It was all real.

The day our life's changed was definitely a test of faith. A test of how strong we were, as a family. I sat in that waiting room ready to see the damage that has been done to my sweet baby brother. Because at that point we had no idea how lucky he got. That glimpse of seeing Zach will haunt me forever. How helpless I felt in that exact moment frequently wakes me up from these horrific dreams I've been having ever since that day. That is a moment burned into my me and families brain forever.

You always hear about these things in the movies or on the news, a house being shot up, someone shooting another innocent person, not to care if they died on your watch. But we found ourselves on the news.. We have been confined to the hospital since that day. Running on barely any sleep, taking shifts of sleep so we don't make ourselves sick taking care of Zach. Watching him suffer. Undergoing surgeries, to repair the damage you did.

Before I proceed let me tell you a little something about the man you shot.

Zachary Keith Wright. A blonde hair blue eyed boy. Who could potentially be the most annoying human on the planet (possibly coming from his sister). A man who loves his God first, loves his family second. Perfect by no means, but almost perfect to me. A 19 year old who was to graduate high school this month. After graduation he was prepping to leave for Marine boot camp in the summer.. being in the military has been Zach's dream since he could talk. Literally. Running around, playing war with underwear on our heads, and finger guns. Some would say we looked like natural born assassins.. growing up he has been a country boy. Let me tell ya country to the core. He loves this country like he loves his family. He believes in helping people, taking charge in what's right, and never leaving a brother behind. He's lived by that his whole life. Until now....

The day you shot him. The day not only did you change my brothers life, you changed his families life too. The day you almost ripped my brother out of this world... for what? A misunderstanding? Because you've let something take ahold of your life that you can't let go you're willing to kill someone innocent over? Luckily for him, his guardian angels were protecting him in your time of cowardice. There were 3 times that day he should've died, the time you shot him, the time you tried to shoot him again as he stared you directly in the face, (even tho he couldn't talk I know you could read his eyes, and he still intimidated you. That's why you tried to pull the trigger again) and the time he was running out of the house. But he lived. A man who was shot in the face, didn't lay there helpless, didn't scream in agony. That MAN walked to the neighbors to get help. Why? Because he's a MAN, and because he's on this earth for a reason.

It's gonna sound a little strange not only to you, but the audience who is reading this. I must say thank you. Even in this situation, this was the best outcome we could get. He gets to live. He will make a full recovery. He will graduate. And he will go off into the Marines. You united my family together. Closer than ever. Thank you. You tested our faith and brought us closer to our God. Thank you. Because of your moment of weakness, you showed us what prayer could do. Heal anything. Thank you. This was a bump in the road, and a helluva way to kick off our year of 2019. But here we are.. all laying in the hospital. I'm looking around as mom is sleeping in her recliner chair exhasted but still here, Zach his awake playing his xbox all hooked up to machines, fighting to heal and get better. And of course I'm writing this letter to you.

See you in trial,

From the girl whose brother you shot.

'Fight the good fight' - 1 Tim 6:12 🤟🏼💙

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