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Mary Ellen Cagnassola

Mary Ellen Cagnassola

Copy Editor

Mary Ellen Cagnassola is a diminutive curmudgeon hailing from Scotch Plains-Fanwood, New Jersey. A lifelong writer, she began contributing to publications at the tender age of 14 while also maintaining a full-time position as a disgruntled nightmare. Now a Rutgers sophomore and the Copy Editor of The Daily Targum, she enjoys making inappropriate jokes and harassing her coworkers, particularly Marielle Sumergido. Cagnassola is the proud owner of an anxious dog, a temperamental rabbit and a bouncing baby hedgehog, making her what some would call an “animal hoarder.” It should be noted that she loves her mommy, daddy and sister ever so much. When Cagnassola isn’t f---ing up Pinterest projects, you can find her mellowing out to her extensive vinyl record collection and reading old Life magazines to satisfy her nostalgia. Sometimes she writes things that you can read, and that usually attempt to challenge sexual stigmas with snarky rhetoric. Lastly, she would like to thank her agent, her fans and Dionysus for making this night possible.

“It’s really vain to quote yourself.”

Recent Articles:


Let's go back in time with 'Somewhere in Time'

Old hats, vintage clothing and bric-a-brac line the window of Leonard Paolillo’s 115 French St. antique store, Somewhere in Time. The abundantly decorated storefront sits pretty on a New Brunswick block that also features Dollar Discount, Hub Liquors, Latin markets and NAPA Auto Parts that can seem like a mirage at first.


Why it's okay to be a grinch on christmas

December can be a tough month for those of us who tend to fall on the Grinchy side of humanity. Once the sleigh bells start ringing and the holiday shoppers begin trampling Walmart employees for seasonal deals, anyone who dares criticize the holiday spirit gets accused of being a part of the "War on Christmas." Really though, American Christmas culture is all about corporate profits and materialism anyway, so let us jingle all the way to Whoville and give all the jolly jerks a dose of red and green reality. Santa isn’t Real He’s just a lie your parents told you so they could eventually crush the foundation your entire concept of what Christmas was built on.

Rutgers’ Livingston Student Center hosted a Coffee House last night, where LGBTQ transgender activist CeCe McDonald spoke at the seminar, “Prison Abolition with CeCe McDonald,” made possible by Rutgers University Center for Social Justice Education and LGBT Communities yesterday night.

LGBTQ activist CeCe McDonald delivers race, sexuality dialogue at Rutgers

On the cab ride over to the Livingston Student Center last night, the driver asked CeCe McDonald what she was doing in New Brunswick. His eyes widened when McDonald said she was on her way to give a seminar at Rutgers on politics and the intersectionality of oppression. As a self-proclaimed “ratchet,” the unpretentious McDonald said she came to expect people to be surprised when she says something intelligent.

Students hold posters protesting tuition hikes and increasing student debt at a budget hearing yesterday evening at the College Avenue Student Center.

Students speak out at Rutgers open budgeting hearing

The air was thick with tension at the open hearing on the University's budget last night at the College Avenue Student Center, where students, faculty and members of the Rutgers community made it clear how the University's financial decisions directly affect them. Nancy Winterbauer, vice president of University Budgeting, opened the hearing with brief introductory comments, establishing context for the evening’s discussions by emphasizing the hearing as an opportunity for students and community to comment on tuition and fees.


Rutgers' greek community marches to combat sexual assault epidemic

Students part of Rutgers' greek life family marched in honor of sexual assault survivors last night -- not only to combat sexual violence, but to also battle the growing public perception of greek life as a facilitator of rape culture and binge drinking. Co-hosted by Delta Sigma Iota fraternity and Phi Sigma Sigma sorority, the greek community invited marchers to gather at Brower Commons on the College Avenue campus to unify against sexual assault on campus, an issue so systemic that the White House organized a task force in 2014 to ensure justice for survivors and ramp up prevention efforts at universities across the country.

As one of the nation’s largest campus renewable energy systems, the Livingston solar energy facility was projected to reduce carbon emissions by more than 1,300 tons yearly and save the University more than $200,000 in its first year.

Rutgers taps solar power as viable alternative energy source

When former Rutgers President Richard L. McCormick marked the official opening of the University’s seven-acre solar energy facility in October 2009, the 1.4 megawatt solar farm was projected to generate about 11 percent of Livingston campus’ electrical needs, according to a previous article in The Daily Targum. As one of the nation’s largest college renewable energy systems, the Livingston solar energy facility was projected to reduce carbon emissions by more than 1,300 tons yearly and save the University more than $200,000 in its first year, according to the article.

November 2012 | A nearly $2 million dollar grant provided to Rutgers by the federal government’s intelligence agencies allow the University to teach intelligence-related curricula.

Federal grant provides Rutgers with way to protect people, property in times of crisis

Rutgers’ newly launched Institute for Emergency Preparedness and Homeland Security is well on its way to reaching its goal of protecting people and property in times of crisis, thanks to a large grant from the federal government’s intelligence agencies. The Institute, which was formally announced in June 2014 at the “IEPHS Inaugural Conference,” was chosen by the United States' Office of the Director of National Intelligence. Rutgers was one of eight selected from a pool of 50 competing universities to receive $1.95 million in funding, alongside a designation as a Center of Academic Excellence, according to MyCentralJersey.com

Photo Illustration | According to a recent study conducted by faculty in the Department of Psychology at Rutgers-Camden, results found that employers had both implicit and explicit biases about women who applied for those jobs.

Study examines implicit and explicit biases on women in workplace

It is hard to imagine an employer today running a workplace where “Mad Men”-style sexism occurs without Internet outrage and lawsuits ensuing, but according to a recent study, a more subtle type of discrimination against women in the workplace is alive and well. Rutgers-Camden’s Ioana Latu, an associate professor in the Department of Psychology, teamed up with researchers Marianne Schmid Mast and Tracie Stewart to uncover the impact that interviewers’ and applicants’ implicit and explicit biases have on women’s job interview outcomes. The study is slated to appear in Psychology of Women Quarterly, according to Rutgers-Camden's "News Now."

“Serial’s” Sarah Koenig arrived at the Rutgers Student Center to speak about her hit podcast March 5. LUO ZHENGCHEN

"Serial" author discusses journalism and murder case

Warning: This article contains spoilers. Read at your own discretion. Sarah Koenig, host and executive producer of the hit podcast “Serial,” took Rutgers back to 1999 Wednesday night to revisit the murder of high school senior Hae Min Lee. Organized by the Rutgers University Programming Association, “An Evening with Sarah Koenig” filled the multipurpose room of the College Avenue Student Center with “Serial” lovers looking for the scoop on what went into building the public radio program that went on to become a pop culture underdog. Koenig sat down for a pre-event interview with The Daily Targum last week, sharing her plans for the talk and her sudden success.

Photo Illustration | The University’s athletics department, which saved $11 million dollars since 2014, relies on a subsidy with one of the highest price tags in the United States compared to other colleges. 

Athletic spending projected to decrease

Despite saving Rutgers a hefty $11 million since 2014, the school's athletics department still relies on a subsidy with one of the highest price tags in United States college athletics. A report filed by Rutgers to the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) reveals the athletics department made use of more than $36 million taken from a combination of student fees, Rutgers’ overall budget and government aid, according to documents obtained by the Courier News/Home News Tribune.

Sarah Koenig, creator of hit NPR podcast “Serial,” is scheduled to stop at the College Avenue Student Center March 4 at 8 p.m. for the Rutgers University Programming Association’s event, “An Evening with Sarah Koenig.” COURTESY OF RYAN GRIFFITH

The Daily Targum sits down with Serial's Sarah Koenig

It is a truth universally acknowledged that public radio podcasts do not become pop culture sensations -- that is until Sarah Koenig, creator and host of the hit “SERIAL,” came along and got everyone hooked on long-form journalism. Luckily for “SERIAL” fans at Rutgers, Koenig is set to pay the College Avenue Student Center a visit on March 4 at 8 p.m.


Valentine's gifts no one asked for

The most romantic day of the year is approaching faster than a coked-up heartbeat. If there’s a certain someone in your life who you like even when you’re not drunk, you’re probably busy trying to decide between flowers and chocolates. However, both options are incorrect. What you really need is something so original that it’s actually slightly disturbing. What does that mean? I’ll tell you what it means: three Valentine’s Day gift ideas that no one asked for.


An honest review of NJ's nude beach

Wearing clothes is all well and good, but anyone who claims being dressed is better than being naked is lying to themselves. Removing the fabric shackles civilization has imposed upon its denizens — once the blinds are drawn and the doors securely locked — is euphoric to say the least. If you have not tried at least sleeping and lounging in the nude, the writer highly recommends it for health and happiness.


The copy editor's honest opinion about opinions

As the old saying goes, opinions are like belly buttons – everybody has one. There is no special saying, however, for offensive and radical opinions, which are kind of like warts in that only some people get them, and those people rarely want others to know about the unsightly growth trespassing on their flesh.

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