Teacher Testimonials

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Applied Statistics teacher testimonial photo

I completed the Master of Science in Applied Statistics graduate program at Villanova in 2013.  I am a 2004 graduate of Springfield High School, Springfield, PA (Delaware County) and a 2008 graduate of the University of Maryland, College Park, where I earned a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics and Secondary Education Mathematics. I currently teach mathematics, including Advanced Placement Statistics, at Cinnaminson High School, Cinnaminson, NJ, and also coach varsity boys’ and girls’ tennis.  I chose Villanova for its excellent reputation and their appreciation of public school educators seeking advanced degrees.

Biology teacher testimonial photo

I am a recent graduate of the Biology program here at Villanova University. I received my BA in Biology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where I completed my undergraduate thesis research on the vocal behavior of Lincoln’s sparrows (Melospiza lincolnii). My graduate thesis research in Dr. Bauer’s lab investigates vocal behavior and morphology of geckos. During my time in the program, I traveled to a private breeding facility, which houses hundreds of gecko species, to record vocalizations for my research. Also, I was awarded a Graduate Student Summer Research Fellowship which funded some of this research. As a full-time high school science teacher and a part-time graduate student I found the Biology program and professors at Villanova very adaptive and facilitative to my limited schedule. The level of care and commitment from the faculty and staff here is truly astounding and I feel blessed to be part of this wonderful institution.

Classical Studies Teacher Testimonial photo

I received my bachelors degree in Classics from the College of the Holy Cross and I am a Latin and Greek teacher at St. Joseph's Prep in Philadelphia.  An Upper Darby native, I taught for 6 years in Boston, New Jersey and Brooklyn before finding my way back to Philadelphia to take a job at my alma mater, St. Joe's Prep.  I recently completed a Masters of Arts in Classical Studies at Villanova and the graduate program here was a perfect fit for me as a full time teacher.  I was able to take 2 classes a semester during most terms and this really helped me feel like I was making relatively swift progress through the program.  I enjoyed all of my classes, but I found the survey courses in both Latin and Greek to be the most enjoyable because of the way these courses concentrated primarily on the texts at hand.  The surveys greatly improved my ability to read large chunks of Latin and Greek and I find this skill to be absolutely essential for teaching Classical languages to high school aged students.  It is imperative for a teacher of Classics to continue to read authentic texts to sharpen language skills and observe the various ways ideas can be expressed.  It is not uncommon for me to bring to my own classroom some of the material from my coursework, and there could be no better indication of utility than that.  I found working with Professors Andrew Scott, Alissa Vaillancourt, and Valentina DeNardis to be an absolute pleasure.  All three are eminently qualified, approachable and run very organized courses.  Taking a summer course on Alexandrian history with Professor Chris Haas was also a highlight of the program for me.  His enthusiasm for this multi-faceted topic was positively infectious and I couldn't help but become enchanted with this Egyptian city that had such an outsized influence on the Classical and Medieval Mediterranean world.   

History Teacher Testimonial Photo

I earned my undergraduate degree in Social Studies Education from Elizabethtown College in 2008 and enrolled in Villanova University's graduate history program.  The program allowed me to explore historical material that fascinated me in my undergraduate studies while providing the opportunity to consider teaching at the postsecondary level.  I also completed coursework in entirely new areas, such as Russian and African history.  These rigorous classes helped me develop important analytical and research skills that continue to inform my teaching.  I also had the great fortune to work as a teaching assistant for Dr. Judith Giesberg during my second year in the program.  It was a valuable opportunity that provided practical classroom experience as well as greater insight into the skill set that students must possess in order to succeed at the university level.

My graduate training at Villanova has been a great asset to my career. I was hired to teach high school social studies soon after earning my M.A., and entered that position much more confident in my mastery of the subject matter than I would otherwise have been. I strive to push my students to engage with history in practical ways, whether through primary source analyses or interaction with senior citizens from a retirement community near our school. Since my graduation from Villanova, I have been selected for professional development opportunities through the Gilder Lehrman Institute and the National Endowment for the Humanities. Most recently, one of my students and I were selected for this year's Albert H. Small Normandy: Sacrifice for Freedom Institute.  After a rigorous study of the D-Day invasion this spring, we will travel to Normandy, France, to eulogize a local fallen soldier from Conshohocken who we have been researching for the last six months.  I am confident that the professional preparation and intellectual guidance I received at Villanova will continue to serve me well in the years to come.

History Teacher Testimonial

I enrolled at Villanova as a graduate student in history in the summer of 2013. Prior to coming to Villanova, I had attended another local university where I was enrolled in graduate-level education courses. After taking three courses, I knew that I wanted to switch to a history program, as I thought it would be more applicable to my career as a high school social studies teacher. My decision to come to Villanova was a difficult one, as it meant studying for and taking the GRE’s, a step up in workload and expectations, as well as a much longer commute. But I can honestly say it was one of the best decisions I have ever made. I chose Villanova’s M.A. program specifically because it seemed geared towards teachers. Class meeting times, ease of access to the campus, and the accessibility of the professors have all made Villanova fit easily into my schedule, and the course assignments often have been directly transferrable to my classroom. Each one of my classes at Villanova has been intellectually stimulating, and my professors have all been caring and compassionate towards their students. The feedback I have received on my writing has been incredible; as an AP U.S. history teacher, I have found my writing, and ability to assess my student’s writing, has improved greatly over the course of the last year. Perhaps the biggest revelation has been my classmates. Being in an environment where everyone is driven to succeed, and genuinely interested in our class readings and discussions makes coming to class each week enjoyable and exciting. Currently, I am working with Dr. Giesberg on a research project centered on African American education in Newark during Reconstruction, an experience that has helped me grow immensely as an educator. By immersing myself in the research process, I am better able to engage my students and help them through the process than ever before. There is no doubt in my mind that my time at Villanova has helped me grow as a teacher and a person.

History Teacher Testimonial Photo

I am a National Board Certified social studies teacher in Wilmington, Delaware at Conrad Schools of Science, where I have taught for nine years. Due to being a life-long learner, I enjoy pursuing opportunities that require me to have a command of critical ideas and skills, and, equally important, the capacity to reflect on, evaluate, and learn from my teaching so that it continually improves. I currently teach Advanced Placement human geography, Advanced Placement comparative government and politics, world history, legal process, and personal finance to 9th-12th graders. I annually travel with my students to Model United Nations and Youth in Government conferences and I love witnessing my students develop civic awareness. I have previously taught in India, Poland, and Thailand. I am a 2014 National Hope Street Group Teacher Fellow, a National America Achieves Fellow, and I currently serve as a member of the Rodel Teacher Council with a focus on personalized learning. I am also a Delaware Teacher Institute Fellow and I was recognized by D.E.L.R.E.C., the National Council for Geographic Education, and the Delaware Geographic Alliance for my excellence in teaching social studies. In 2013, I was the Conrad Schools of Science Teacher of the Year. 

I earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in history from Tulane University, a Master of Education degree in curriculum and instruction (social studies) from the University of Delaware, and I'm currently pursuing a Masters of Arts degree in United States history at Villanova University as a James Madison fellow. I chose Villanova for its small class sizes, affordable tuition, and the ample and diverse course offerings in U.S. history. Even though I'm a full time teacher, I have been able to complete my coursework in a timely fashion by taking classes at night. Upon completion of my degree, I will return to the classroom and teach United States history. Undoubtedly, my experience at Villanova will make me a better teacher of history. My students will certainly be the ones to benefit the most. 

Mathematics Teacher Testimonial Photo

At Villanova, I am pursuing my Master of Arts in Mathematics. I am completing my degree part time in 3 years. Villanova was the perfect choice for me because it allowed me to pursue an advanced degree, go part time, work full time as a high school teacher, and commute from Lancaster, PA. I was not sure if I wanted to pursue a doctorate program yet or be an adjunct professor, but Villanova was the perfect transition for either.

I appreciated Villanova’s ability to work with public school teachers with the 20% tuition reduction and the professors' understanding of our schedules and ability to use alternate means to office hours. Each course I took allowed me to bring at least one element back into my own classroom to engage my students beyond our curriculum. For example from an abstract algebra course I was able to bring into my geometry course a composition of transformations on a square activity.

While at Villanova, I increased my knowledge in higher mathematics and had many opportunities to research mathematics. The faculty is passionate about what they teach, which can be seen through their excitement and knowledge in their lectures. My professors were very supportive and encouraged me throughout the program.

I am a 2007 graduate of Latrobe High School and a 2011 Summa Cum Laude graduate of Millersville University with a BSE in Mathematics and a Minor in Psychology.

Political Science Teacher Testimonial Photo

I am a part-time graduate student at Villanova, pursuing a degree in Political Science.  After completing an undergraduate degree in History Education at the University of Delaware, I became a high school teacher, and have taught most recently at Salesianum School, a private, Catholic high school in Wilmington, Delaware.   

I am the 2011 Delaware recipient of the James Madison Graduate Fellowship, an award given to one teacher from each state, each year.  As a James Madison Fellow, I was offered $24,000 to complete my Masters degree at Villanova, and offered the opportunity to complete a rigorous, month-long academic summer program, hosted at Georgetown University. This experience was incredible-- I, along with 49 other teachers from across the nation, spent an entire month immersed in the United States Constitution in the nation's capital.  I am fortunate enough to teach at Salesianum with four fellow teacher recipients of the James Madison Graduate Fellowship (the highest concentration of Fellows, at a single high school, in the nation). 

Villanova's flexibility allowed me to complete coursework each semester, while still teaching and coaching football full-time.  Villanova has been incredibly accommodating with the requirements of my Fellowship; I would whole-heartedly recommend Villanova's Political Science program to any future fellows.  Additionally, Villanova's campus is beautiful and extremely accessible for a commuting student like myself. 

At Villanova, I have been able to study subjects ranging from the role of intelligence failure in the events of September 11th to the politics of vodka in Russia, all under the patient tutelage of the engaging faculty.  I also have the highest regard for my fellow graduate students-- they are all amazingly intelligent and talented and have helped push me to grow as a student.  I find myself using the knowledge gained through Villanova's graduate program increasingly in my own classroom; I have incorporated aspects of writing and research from Villanova with my own students.  The high school students I teach also enjoy hearing about my own successes (and struggles) as a student.  For me, the Villanova is a perfect fit.

theatre student testimonial

I was a graduate student in the Theatre Department from 2010-2013 and earned a Master's Degree in Theatre.  Previous to my enrollment at Villanova, I had been the Director of Drama at Renaissance Academy in Phoenixville for seven years.  I taught and designed curriculum for a variety of theatrical classes for grades 1-12.  My experience at Villanova helped strengthen my skills as a teacher, researcher, academic writer, and performer.  My most memorable experience at Villanova was playing the role of Nettie in "Carousel."  Since graduating, I have expanded my teaching experience by adjuncting at Albright College. I would recommend Villanova to any aspiring or current teachers. It is a nurturing environment that really allows you to develop your own unique identity as a scholar and educator. 

Bill Gabriel student

Having completed my BA in Theology from Villanova in 2013, I was hired as a Theology Teacher and Campus Minister at Archmere Academy in Delaware. While teaching and working in ministry full-time, it was an easy decision to continue enrollment in Villanova’s Theology MA program.

The professors were eager to discuss the material and assist in research. My peers and teachers in the classroom established an intellectually stimulating environment. Dr. Spitaler and the department’s academic advisors would check-in often, which put me in the best position to achieve the requirements for the degree at a good pace while teaching full-time. The evening classes and variety of offerings in the summer assisted in easing the course load throughout the school year. I could see my writing become clearer, my thinking more critical, and my capacity to read difficult texts grow. Without a doubt, I found myself incorporating these skills of pedagogy and course concepts from Villanova into what I taught at the high school level. As a result, it enhanced my ability as a teacher and increased my students’ college readiness. All this, in addition to the 40% tuition reduction given to Catholic school teachers, made the Theology MA program a great fit and terrific experience.

I was asked to teach a sample lesson as part of my interview for Archmere’s teaching and ministry position. I was given the task to teach on the topic of Augustinian Grace to high school juniors. Not particularly sure where to begin in the midst of such a large concept, I turned to Fr. Farrell, OSA and Dr. Yates in the Theology department. I asked for some guidance on structure and how to streamline the content into a 47-minute class period. Both went above and beyond in advising me on my lesson planning. Because of professors like them, and all the others in the department, I was prepared as a teacher who not only knew the material, but was able to engage and relate this knowledge to my students.

After a couple years of teaching and ministry, I am now in formation with the Augustinian Friars. I can confidently say that Villanova’s undergraduate and graduate Theology programs have made me a better teacher, minister, and person.