College Honors Exceptional Alumni

Photo from Dinner
Photo courtesy of Diane Brocchi. The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Alumni Medallion is an annual award given to recognize the accomplishments of select graduates, identified by the department chairs within the College, who have excelled in their professional endeavors.

The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences proudly celebrated its 2011 Alumni Medallion recipients, who were recognized at a special on-campus celebration held Saturday, November 12.

The Alumni Medallion was awarded to Nora Pillard Reynolds, ’02, BA Communication, BA Honors, and Brian Katulis,’94, BA History.

The Young Alumni Medallion was awarded to Randy Foye, ’06, BA Geography.

The Graduate Alumni Medallion was awarded to Mark J. Servodidio, '87, BA, Psychology; '89, MA, Human Resource Development.

A Mass of Celebration was held in honor of all A&S alumni on Thursday, Nov. 10, and a special panel discussion featuring the awardees was held on Friday, Nov. 11, for current students in Connelly's Cinema.

Nora Pillard Reynolds, ’02, earned a bachelor’s degree in Communication and Spanish, and a bachelor’s degree in Honors, from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Villanova, and is a recipient of the 2011 Alumni Medallion. Nora also earned minors in Africana Studies and Peace and Justice Education at Villanova. Nora exemplifies the mission of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, co-founding Water for Waslala, a non-profit organization dedicated to building potable water systems for the poor region of Waslala, Nicaragua, where more than 40,000 residents currently drink from polluted local rivers, after she completed her first master’s degree in International Development at the University of Madrid in Spain.

Since its creation in July 2004, Water for Waslala has provided more than 3,000 Waslalan residents with clean drinking water. Following graduation, Nora joined Teach for America and served in a bilingual school in North Philadelphia while earning her second master’s degree in Elementary Education at St. Joseph’s University.

Nora continues to work for Water for Waslala, serving as a liaison between the organization and the University, and remains active with the Center for Peace and Justice Education and the Center for Multicultural Affairs on campus. In addition, Nora continues to work with Teach for America during its annual selection process. She currently is pursuing a Ph.D. in Urban Education at Temple University.

Brian Katulis, ’94, earned a bachelor’s degree in History and Arab and Islamic Studies from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Villanova, and is a recipient of the 2011 Alumni Medallion. Brian is Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress, where his work focuses on U.S. national security policy with an emphasis on the Middle East, Iraq, the Arab-Israeli conflict, and Pakistan. He is co-author of The Prosperity Agenda, a book on U.S. national security published by John Wiley & Sons. 

Prior to joining the Center, Katulis lived and worked in the Middle East for the National Democratic Institute and Freedom House, including projects in Egypt, Iraq, and the Palestinian territories. From 2000 to 2003, he worked as a senior associate at Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research. Brian has served as a consultant to numerous U.S. government agencies, private corporations, and non-governmental organizations on projects in two dozen countries, including Iraq, Pakistan, Yemen, Egypt, Colombia, Morocco, and Bangladesh. 

His previous experience includes work on the Policy Planning Staff at the State Department from 1999 to 2000, a graduate fellowship at the National Security Council’s Near East and South Asian Affairs Directorate in 1998, and work in the Department of Defense during his undergraduate studies.  From 1995 to 1998, he lived and worked in the West Bank and Gaza Strip and Egypt for the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs.

Brian received a master’s degree from Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School for Public and International Affairs. In 1994 and 1995, he was a Fulbright scholar in Amman, Jordan, where he conducted research on the peace treaty between Israel and Jordan. Brian has published articles in several newspapers and journals, including the Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Boston Globe, Baltimore Sun, and Middle East Policy, among other publications. Brian speaks fluent Arabic.

Young Alumni Medallion 2011

Randy Foye, ’06, earned a bachelor’s degree in Geography and a minor in sociology from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Villanova University. His personal story is one of tragedy and triumph that most could not begin to fathom. Tragically, he lost both of his parents before he finished kindergarten. Randy has taken every experience, good or bad, and channeled it into the positive energy that fuels his desire to stay hungry and humble. He is thankful for the support of his family and mentors in the Newark, New Jersey, community who helped guide him on a safe journey through the streets and into the arms of the Villanova community.

Randy spent his years in the Newark public school system, where his basketball career flourished at East Side High School under the direction of head coach Bryant Garvin. Randy led his team to become New Jersey state champions in his senior year, and was named Player of the Year by various New Jersey media outlets. He came onto the national radar while playing AAU basketball for legendary coach Sandy Pyonin and the New Jersey Roadrunners. His talent and positive attitude earned him much national recognition, and he accepted a full scholarship to attend Villanova.

Randy was a four-year starter for Villanova teams that saw post-season action each year. In 2005, the Wildcats reached the Sweet Sixteen of the NCAA Tournament where they suffered a heartbreaking loss to eventual national champion North Carolina. In 2006, the team advanced to the Elite Eight after earning the first No. 1 seed in school history. Randy was named MVP of the Minneapolis Regional after the Wildcats lost to eventual national champion Florida.

As his collegiate career came to a close, Randy was honored with numerous accolades, including Big East Player of the Year, Philadelphia Big 5 Player of the Year, Associated Press 1st Team All-America, U.S. Basketball Writers’ Association 1st Team All-America, 1st Team All-Big East Conference, Villanova Basketball Most Outstanding Player Award, and was a finalist for the John Wooden Award and the Bayer Advantage Senior CLASS Award. That June, Randy was selected as the #7 overall pick in the NBA Draft. Randy currently is in his sixth year in the NBA, playing for the Los Angeles Clippers.

At just 24 years old, Randy established his namesake foundation, whose mission is to raise funds and develop programming aimed directly at improving the lives of people, especially the children, of Newark, New Jersey, Randy’s hometown. The Randy Foye Foundation has expanded its outreach efforts throughout New Jersey as well as into the NBA cities where Foye has played, including Minneapolis; Washington, D.C.; and Los Angeles. Working hand in hand with corporations, community stakeholders, and a growing network of dedicated individuals, the Randy Foye Foundation creates opportunities for youth to become successful contributors to society and future world leaders.

Randy credits Villanova’s coaching staff, support staff, and professors for guiding and supporting him during his Villanova journey. He is a lifelong member of the Villanova basketball family and the Nova Nation.

In April 2010, Randy was honored with the New Jersey State Governor’s Jefferson Award in the category of Service to Youth. The award honors honor individuals for their achievements and contributions through public and community service.

Randy and his wife Christine, a 2007 A&S graduate, reside in New Jersey with their two young daughters, Paige and Penelope.

 Graduate Alumni Medallion 2011

Mark J. Servodidio received a bachelor’s degree in Psychology in 1987 and a master’s degree in  Human Resource Development in 1989 from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Villanova University. He is executive vice president and chief administrative officer for Avis Budget Group, the parent company of Avis Rent A Car, Budget Rent A Car, and Budget Truck Rental, with responsibility for more than 30,000 employees.

Mark oversees Avis Budget Group’s worldwide human resources activities including labor and employee relations, staffing strategy, compensation, equal employment compliance, and employee loyalty initiatives.

Prior to joining Avis Budget Group, Mark was with Kraft Foods where he led the HR efforts for its Nabisco Division’s sales and supply chain unit. Other key roles there included rebuilding Nabisco’s direct store delivery system, overseeing organizational effectiveness efforts, and implementing the initial integration strategy for Nabisco and Kraft as a result of the acquisition by Phillip Morris.

Mark also served as vice president of human resources for Stella D’Oro & Christie Brown, Nabisco’s specialty cookie unit. Prior to working for Kraft Foods, he was at PepsiCo where he had several leadership roles at Pepsi-Cola and Frito-Lay.

Currently, Mark is a member of Benefits Implementation Team of the Business Roundtable, which partners with a White House team on healthcare reform implementation on behalf of the Business Roundtable. He is a member of the Senior Advisory Council of the Villanova University Graduate Human Resource Development Program. Mark also was selected as co-chair of the New Jersey Human Resources Leadership Summit in 2011.

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