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Sophomore is writing his ticket to success

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

The 20-year-old sophomore from Staten Island came to the University thinking he would pursue engineering or psychology. But two writing classes led by doctoral student Andrei Guruianu, Broome County’s poet laureate, opened his eyes to English.

“The best way to voice your opinion is through spoken word or paper,” the English major said. “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 literary journal recently chartered by the Student Association. Monte oversees nine other editors who review poetry, fiction and non-fiction. Monte, who came aboard after Guruianu pitched the idea, hopes that the first issue will be produced by December.

“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,” said Monte, who enjoys having the freedom to go from writing an essay about Shakespeare to producing poetry for an open-mic night.

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

Monte also wants writers 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 said. “We can go from Beethoven to Roll Over Beethoven by the Beatles.”

Monte said he is looking forward to continuing his English studies and likes the many roads that the major offers. Graduation is still more than two years away, but 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 said.

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Last Updated: 10/14/08