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Written word empowers this student

Joe Monte has learned the power and importance of the written word during his time at Binghamton University.

The junior from Staten Island came to the University thinking he would pursue engineering or psychology. But two writing classes led by graduate student Andrei Guruianu, Broome County’s poet laureate, opened his eyes to writing.

“The best way to voice your opinion is through spoken word or paper,” the English major says. “Everyone at this University, with its diversity, has something to say. I feel like the most important thing in the world is for people to hear you.”

Monte will give students a forum to be heard as executive editor of Ellipsis, an undergraduate literature journal recently chartered by the Student Association. He oversees nine other editors who review poetry, fiction and non-fiction. Monte, who came aboard after Guruianu pitched the idea, is hoping for the first issue to be produced by December 2009.

“The most important thing about the journal is being the medium for people to say what they want and hopefully inspire and influence people like my professors do for me,” says Monte, who enjoys having the freedom to go from writing an essay about Shakespeare to producing poetry that can be used at an open-mic night.

He also hopes to allow writers and poets to read their works on his WHRW radio show. A disc jockey who prefers the classic rock of Bruce Springsteen and Led Zeppelin to today’s new music, Monte praises the variety that the station offers.

“WHRW is the one of the last free-format stations,” he says. “We can go from Beethoven to “Roll over Beethoven” by the Beatles.”

“Joe shows a seemingly endless enthusiasm for any activity in which he gets involved,” Guruianu says. “He is a devoted student and always puts in the energy necessary to make sure a project is successful.”

Monte said he is looking forward to continuing his English studies and likes the many roads that the major offers and he’s already considering going into teaching, law or journalism.

“You could do something for the rest of your life that gets you a big house and nice material things, but if you don’t enjoy getting up every day and going to do it, then what’s the point?” he says.

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Last Updated: 12/1/09