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Three Words to Describe Montclair

Red Chair Stories conveys Montclair’s academics, value and a sense of belonging

Posted in: University

Student and professor sit in red chairs in a science lab.
Qiana Archer, a senior Biology major, with Professor Julian Keenan, films a segment for Montclair’s new film, Red Chair Stories.

“Exceptional, diverse, demanding … and just cool.”

So that’s four words. But it’s hard to choose just three. When asked to describe Montclair State University in three words, students, faculty, staff and alumni chose those attributes and others – inclusive, community and scholarly; friendly, dynamic and lively – in a new video created to showcase Montclair’s academic and campus life.

The film will be shown to prospective students and their families when they visit campus. Short excerpts will be used as part of an advertising campaign launching in the spring semester.

Titled Red Chair Stories, the film puts students front and center and conveys Montclair’s academic excellence, value and a sense of belonging. It also provides a look at what’s on the minds of students invited to sit in red chairs and tell their stories, joined by mentors, professors and friends who support them.

Two women sit in red chairs indoors.
Elizabeth Moyeno ’21, left, a graduate student in Educational Leadership – Higher Education and Karelyn Guzman, a Psychology major, credit Montclair for setting them on leadership paths.

During the filming this fall, red chairs were placed throughout campus to show off the campus beauty and learning environments, giving the viewer a feel for the University.

A man and woman sit in red chairs outdoors.
Carlos Salvador introduces his campus mentor Eve Schaenen, executive director of the Yogi Berra Museum & Learning Center.

In the film, students and faculty elaborate on the University’s qualities, including its diversity, and its commitment to social justice and to making the world a better place.

“We are a public service-oriented university,” Justice Studies Associate Professor Jason Williams says. “We believe in being in the trenches, going into the communities and serving, engaging in our civic duty.”

That work leads to dream opportunities for students in research, public service, study abroad as well as in their majors and fields of choice.

Shantae Mcleod, a sophomore Public Health major, shows off her Red Hawk pride.
Three young men sit in red chairs on campus.
No matter their path, everyone has a seat at Montclair. From left, Kevin Bustamante-Valega, a Political Science BA/MA and Jurisprudence major; Jadel Class, an English major; and Jake Maglio, a Finance major.

“This video captures the spirit of our amazing university, including the way we support and help each other,” says Vice President Joseph Brennan. “I am grateful to all who worked on this project, including team members from Communications and Marketing, Undergraduate Admissions, Enrollment Management and Student Development and Campus Life and, of course, the talented folks at Awesome Films.”

Featured are students Qiana Archer, Jadel Class, Gabriella Cordova, Keiva-Nevaeh Edghill, Anthony Gachetti, Karelyn Guzman, Jake Maglio, Mariana Luna-Martinez, Shantae Mcleod, Jason Naccarella, Katarina Rodriguez, Richard Steiner-Otoo, Carlos Salvador, Kevin Bustamante-Valega, Camryn Wade; alumni Elizabeth Moyeno ’21 and Bobby Serrani ’16, ’18 MA; professors Julian Keenan, Laura Nicosia and Jason Williams; Assistant Provost Daniel Jean; and Eve Schaenen, executive director of the Yogi Berra Museum & Learning Center. Watch for more from Red Chair Stories this spring on social media and streaming TV.

One word used the most in the film to describe Montclair’s impact is “community.” “You can find your niche. You can connect with like-minded individuals. You can learn from those who think differently from you,” Jean told filmmakers. “It’s a healthy, vibrant environment that allows you to build and develop a community.”


Story by Staff Writer Marilyn Joyce Lehren. Video by Awesome Films.

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