Student News

Student Accomplishments



Inducted in Phi Beta Kappa 2014

4 Spanish majors:  Rosaria Altomare, Corina Balsamo, Jennifer Kelly, and Michele Vélez.

2014 U.S. Department of State Critical Language Scholarship

Brendan Carchidi, French & Arab and Islamic Studies.

A&S Medallion of Excellence

Jessica Eby, French; Domenico Cricchio, Italian; and Michelle Vélez, Spanish.

Inducted in the French, Italian and Spanish National Honor Societies

43 students were inducted in the Hispanic, French and Italian National Honor Societies.  21 students in Spanish, 12 in French, and 10 in Italian (GPA 3.5 or higher).

2014-2015 Fulbright US Student Grant

The Department of Romance Languages and Literatures would like to congratulate three of our students who received the 2014-2015 Fulbright US Student Grant:

Jessica Eby  
French & Biochemistry

Denis Whelan 
Spanish & Math

Bethany Wood

We are so proud of you and your achievements! Thank you for being a wonderful representation for our department and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences!

Spanish Major Gets Fulbright to Spain

Denis Whelan is a senior mathematics major with a Spanish minor from Milford, CT. He has been involved with the Blue Key Society, Candidates' Day Committee, the New Student Orientation Program, and he is a Resident Assistant. He has participated in and led several service break trips, including trips to Kentucky, North Carolina, Philadelphia, Georgia, Peru, and the Dominican Republic. 

After interning at Sikorsky Aircraft after his sophomore year, Denis participated in the National Heart Lung Blood Institute-funded Summer Institute for Training in Biostatistics at Boston University. Last summer, he performed an independent research project in nutritional epidemiology at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, Washington. During the fall semester of his junior year he studied abroad in Alcala de Henares, Madrid, Spain through CIEE where he lived with a host family and took 5 courses in Spanish. Upon returning to Villanova, Denis interned for the Villanova Law School as a translator for Spanish-speakers at the Farmworker's Legal Aid and Tax Clinics.

Next year, Denis will be returning to Spain as an English Teaching Assistant through the Fulbright Grant. He will then attend Emory University's PhD program in Biostatistics through the Rollins School of Public Health. In May he will be inducted into Villanova's chapter of Phi Beta Kappa.

Graduate Assistant Summer Research Project

Ms. Puchau De Lecea's research proposal "From The Girl’s Voice: Women’s Visions of Contemporary Spain" with Dr. Mercedes Juliá has been approved for funding.  Ms. Puchau is a graduate assistant in our Hispanic Studies Graduate Program.  She will be working with Dr. Juliá during this coming summer (2014).   

Hispanic Studies Graduate Students Accepted with Funding to Ph.D. Programs:

The Hispanic Studies Graduate Program would like to congratulate three of our 2014 graduate students who have been accepted with assistantships into the following Ph.D. programs:

Zachary Hayes:  Has been accepted to the University of California, San Diego, the University of Virginia, and Johns Hopkins University.  He will be going to Johns Hopkins.

Manuel Olmedo:  Has been accepted to Vanderbilt University and the University of Chicago, and will be going to Chicago.

Majd Subih:  Has been accepted to George Mason University.

Congratulations on your achievements and best of luck in your future endeavors!

Inducted in Phi Betta Kappa 2013

  •   Spanish majors:

            Caitlin LeMay
            Shannon Welch
            Paul Insley
            Laura Lovely

Fulbright Grant Recipients (academic year 2012-2013)

  •   Spanish majors:

            Michaela Gaziano
            Laura Lovely
            Gloria Park
            Russel Quiñones
            Amy Richards

  •   French major:

            Theresa Donohue

2014 Marshall Scholar

I am overjoyed to announce that senior, Joana Petrescu (’14 LAS), has been selected as a 2014 Marshall Scholar. A Villanova University Presidential Scholar from Warrington, Pa., Joana is the first Villanovan to receive this prestigious scholarship which will allow her to pursue post-graduate research in cancer biology at the University of Cambridge in the UK. Joana is a triple major, currently pursuing degrees in Biochemistry, French and Honors. Since her freshman year, she has participated in undergraduate research projects at Villanova, Thomas Jefferson University and most recently at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP). As a sophomore, Joana was selected to participate in the highly selective CHOP Research Institute Summer Scholars Program  where she studied pediatric cancer and provided care to patients and their families in the clinic. She is currently completing her Honors Senior Thesis research at CHOP on the role of the DNA damage response in cancer.  Joana was awarded the 2013 Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship in recognition of her commitment to research. Joana eventually plans to pursue an MD/PhD in pediatric oncology.

National Security Education Program (NSEP) David L. Boren Scholarship

Karolina Wolnicki, recipient of the 2013 National Security Education Program (NSEP) David L. Boren Scholarship. ( The daughter of Miron Wolnicki, Associate Professor of Economics at Villanova, Karolina is a Spanish and Global Interdisciplinary Studies major who will use her Boren Scholarship to pursue Portuguese language studies at the Council of International Educational Exchange’s program in Salvador da Bahia, Brazil in the Spring 2014 semester. In addition to being bilingual in Polish and English, Karolina has demonstrated her commitment to learning multiple languages, including Spanish, Arabic, and French, through her coursework and co-curricular activities. As a junior in high school, Karolina completed a ten month study abroad program in Badajoz, Spain. At Villanova, Karolina has travelled to Waslala, Nicaragua five times as a Spanish Interpreter for Villanova’s Nursing College’s Telehealth Project as well as Guatemala, San Salvador, and Chile for service trips. Karolina also serves as a Spanish Interpreter for Villanova’s Law School Clinic, working to support Hispanic immigrants. Furthermore, she has studied Arabic and French at Villanova and through a program in Morocco. Through her Boren experience, Karolina plans to enter the field of international affairs through the Foreign Service. CONGRATULATIONS!!!

Recipients of the A&S Medallion of Excellence

Laura Lovely, Spanish;

Stephen Marcaccio, French;

Nicholas Grassi, Italian.

TAPIF program through the French Government

French major, Alexandra Jeszeck was accepted into the TAPIF program through the French Government and will teach English in Guadalupe during 2013-14.