Monmouth Memories Oral History Program
Specialist Professor Melissa Ziobro
Date: April 16, 2018
Interviewee: Nicholas Verzicco
Interviewer: Samantha Papa
Summarizer: Samantha Papa
“Monmouth is a Small School, but We Do Big Things”
Nick Verzicco is everything that a study body could want in their president. Exuding a confidence in himself and his peers, Verzicco’s positive attitude adds light to any situation. Born in Mays Landing, New Jersey, Verzicco considers himself to be a deep south “piney.” Verzicco admires his family’s constant love and support and also reflects on the fact that he is the first of his family to attend a four-year institution. Verzicco’s mother played a big role in choosing Monmouth University to continue his academic career. Originally, Verzicco had his heart set on playing lacrosse at Arcadia, however he agreed to take a look at Monmouth after hearing about the Educational Opportunity Fund (EOF) available here. The first time that he stepped foot on campus was for the EOF interview and he immediately fell in love with the atmosphere that Monmouth has to offer.
Verzicco’s decision to become a finance major at Monmouth was largely due to his participation in a stock market and investment class in high school. It was here that Verzicco got interested in the workings of the stock market. He points out that, “Everybody needs somebody who knows about money.” His favorite aspect of the finance program at Monmouth is the knowledge of the professors. He admires that many professors have real world experience in their field that they can draw upon in class.
Verzicco was inspired to run for a student government position while at a leadership conference at Texas A&M University. Once back at Monmouth he began campaigning for the position of president by hanging large banners in the student center, passing out buttons and business cards, and staying out until two in the morning to increase awareness. Verzicco’s platform was fundamental in his rise to the position of Student Government Association (SGA) president. He ran on a promise to maximize club and organizational budgets that Monmouth has to offer, making sure to spread the wealth equally. He also wanted to be visible on campus and make the student body more aware of what SGA does. Getting sworn in as the SGA president for the 2017-2018 school year was an exciting and humbling experience, Verzicco admits. He greatly looked up to previous SGA president, Austin Skelton, who was a role model and inspiration. Being a student leader, to Verzicco, means the world. It was important for Verzicco to be available as a resource or a role model for Monmouth students and to have the opportunity to give back to the community. Surely Verzicco has achieved this goal, evidenced through his work in organizing, with Alumni Affairs, the shipment of over $1,000 worth of supplies to Florida after the devastating hurricane. Most of all, Verzicco explains, it is his job as SGA president to be a liaison between the students and the administration.
As SGA president Verzicco works closely with University President Grey Dimenna, who he says is an amazing person to work with. The two even share a secret president handshake and a presidential connection, jokes Verzicco. Verzicco informed that visibility in a University president, putting a face to a name, is what is most important to Monmouth students in their next president, something that Verzicco has voiced to the search committee.
Besides being the SGA president, Verzicco has had a numerous amount of leadership roles on campus. He was a Blue Squad Orientation Leader (OL) during the 2016 and 2017 summer new student orientations where he worked with making the transition process as easy as possible for incoming freshman. The hardest aspect in adjusting to like at college, Verzicco admits, is strengthening time management skills. He advises that making one’s free time productive, by either joining a club, getting a job, or studying, will make a huge difference. Keep on “moving and improving” as Verzicco points out when reminiscing on his time as an OL.
Verzicco also spoke highly of his participation in the Global Education Alternate Break Program to Nicaragua and Haiti. Monmouth had prepared him for such trips by building up his confidence in his leadership and interpersonal skills. He knew, from his other leadership positions on campus that he had a purpose to contribute to the group. On these trips the students would get assignments and provide their assistance wherever they can. One of Verzicco’s favorite aspects of the trips was being able to interact with the children in the schools and orphanages that they visited. On one of his last days in Haiti Verzicco took the shoes off his feet and the book bag off his back and gave it to one of the young kids. He humbly explains that, “I don’t have that much to give, but what I’m giving them is so much more then they already have.” After coming back from the alternate break trips, Verzicco says that he is able to appreciate the little things in life, like taking a hot shower, noticing the clean air, or seeing how green the grass is. He accredited going on these trips in helping him stand out in the internship search and gave him an interesting talking point in interviews.
Verzicco is also a tour guide at Monmouth. In this position he advises parents and prospective students of all the aspects that make up college life at Monmouth University. The top questions asked on his tours usually involve housing and dining options. However, Verzicco says that these questions are easily answered since Monmouth dining and housing are both great elements of the campus. He also loves showing off the Ocean First Bank Center and the Global Education Office, since he can tell the groups stories from his own experiences with these areas.
Verzicco’s first job on campus was with the Monmouth Digital Film Network, where he films and broadcasts various sporting events. His favorite moments at Monmouth have been through this program because he gets to experience things that not many others have the opportunity to, such as sitting courtside for basketball games during the Monmouth Bench season! Verzicco is also a part of the Monmouth Club Lacrosse Team, which he says is the perfect amount of commitment between sports and other ways to get involved on campus.
Verzicco’s secret to managing his time at Monmouth is staying organized with his calendar. He says that there are some long days, being so busy, but they are all worth it in the end. After Monmouth, Verzicco is going to miss the atmosphere of the campus the most. His favorite “Monmouth Memory” is being able to grow so close with other student leaders who he has met through his involvement on campus. Verzicco notices that the biggest changes on campus have been to the landscape, in the expansion and renovating of buildings and the new stadium. He feels that these improvements are signs that the resources of the school are being put towards the students, and school pride is growing because of it. He comprises Monmouth’s atmosphere by stating that, “Monmouth is a small school, but we do big things.” To future hawks, Verzicco advises to do everything, take advantage of every resource available to you, network with your peers and professors, and make the most of your time here. Being a dedicated student, a determined athlete, and a devoted student leader, Verzicco is a role model to all.