College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Recognizes Alumni Medallion Recipients

Each Year, the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences recognizes distinguished alumni for their meaningful and lasting contributions to bettering the world around them

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VILLANOVA, Pa. – Villanova University’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences recently recognized its 2012 Alumni Medallion recipients at a special on-campus celebration. Vice Admiral Nanette M. Derenzi, USN, ’83, History, and Alfonso Martinez-Fonts Jr. ’71, Political Science, each received the College’s Alumni Medallion. DeRenzi serves as the 42nd Judge Advocate General (JAG) of the Navy. Martinez-Fonts is a vice president at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the executive vice president of the U.S. Forum for Policy Innovation. In addition, Ivanley Noisette ’08, Political Science, received the Young Alumni Medallion, and Jennifer Gosetti-Ferencei, PhD, Philosophy, received the Graduate Alumni Medallion. 

“The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Villanova University is honored to recognize the lives and accomplishments of its most distinguished alumni every year,” said Jean Ann Linney, PhD, Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.  “This year’s awardees have made and continue to make meaningful and lasting contributions to bettering the world around them.  Vice Admiral Nanette M. Derenzei,  Alfonso Martinez-Fonts, Dr. Jennifer Gosetti-Ferencei and Ivanley Noisette are wonderful examples of the many diverse ways our graduates use their liberal arts education to ignite change.”    

Pictured above (from left to right): Gary Olsen ’74 ’80, Associate Vice President for Alumni Relations; Jean Ann Linney, PhD, Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences; Vice Admiral Nanette M. Derenzi, USN, Esq, ’83; Alfonso Martinez-Fonts Jr. ’71; Ivanley Noisette ’08; Jennifer Gosetti-Ferencei ’95 MA, ’99 PhD; and the Rev. Peter M. Donohue, OSA, PhD, ’75, University President.

The College of Liberal Arts & Sciences’ 2012 Alumni Medallion recipients include:

Alumni Medallion 

Vice Admiral Nanette M. Derenzi, USN, ’83, History

Vice Admiral Nanette M. DeRenzi is the 42nd Judge Advocate General (JAG) of the Navy. As the Judge Advocate General, DeRenzi is the principal military legal counsel to the Secretary of the Navy and Chief of Naval Operations, and serves as the Department of Defense representative for Ocean Policy Affairs (REPOPA). As the JAG, she also leads the 2,300 attorneys, enlisted legalmen, and civilian employees of the worldwide Navy JAG Corps community. 

DeRenzi graduated magna cum laude from Villanova University in 1983. She was commissioned through the JAG Corps Student Program and, in 1986, graduated from the Temple University School of Law. She later earned a Master of Laws degree (Environmental Law) from the George Washington University School of Law. 

From 2009 to 2012, DeRenzi served as the deputy judge advocate general of the Navy and commander, Naval Legal Service Command. As commander, Naval Legal Service Command, she led the judge advocates, enlisted legalmen, and civilian employees of 17 commands worldwide, providing prosecution and defense services, legal assistance services to individuals, and legal support to shore and afloat commands. 

Before her appointment to flag rank, she served as the senior staff judge advocate for Commander, U.S. Southern Command; special assistant for Legal and Legislative Matters to the Secretary of the Navy; legislative counsel for Environmental Programs in the Navy Office of Legislative Affairs; and, executive assistant to the JAG. In command, she served as commanding officer, Naval Legal Service Office, North Central. 

Afloat, DeRenzi served as the fleet judge advocate to Commander, U.S. 7th and 3rd Fleets, as well as staff judge advocate to Commander, Carrier Group Seven. 

DeRenzi is admitted to practice before the courts of the State of New Jersey and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. She holds various decorations and awards, including the Navy Distinguished Service Medal, Defense Superior Service Medal, the Legion of Merit (four awards), the Meritorious Service Medal (four awards), and the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (two awards).

Alumni Medallion 

Alfonso Martinez-Fonts Jr. ’71, Political Science

Alfonso Martinez-Fonts Jr., is a vice president at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the executive vice president of the U.S. Forum for Policy Innovation. In his role as executive vice president, he oversees the Chamber’s three non-for-profit foundations: the Business Civic Leadership Center (BCLC), the Institute for a Competitive Workforce (ICW), and the National Chamber Foundation (NCF). 

Martinez-Fonts received his undergraduate degree in political science from Villanova University in 1971, where he serves on the Alumni Association Board. He received his M.B.A. in finance from Long Island University in 1974.

Prior to his current roles at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and U.S. Forum for Policy Innovation, Martinez-Fonts served as a consultant to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce as president of Alfonso Martinez-Fonts, LLC, a consulting firm specializing in homeland security and international issues. He was also affiliated with Adelphi Capital, LLC, and Command Consulting Group.

Before that, Martinez-Fonts served as assistant secretary and special assistant to the secretary for the private sector at the Department of Homeland Security. He was charged with providing America’s private sector with a direct line of communication to the department. Martinez-Fonts worked directly with individual businesses and through trade associations and other non-governmental organizations to foster dialogue between the private sector and the department. He served under-secretaries Ridge, Chertoff, and Napolitano. 

Earlier in his career, Martinez-Fonts worked for 30 years at JP Morgan Chase and its predecessors, Chemical Bank and Texas Commerce Bank. He served as president of Texas Commerce Bank in San Antonio. In 2002, he retired as chairman and chief executive officer of JP Morgan Chase in El Paso. 

Martinez-Fonts served on many boards, including Project ARRIBA, ACCION International, and ACCION USA. He was a member of the Frito-Lay Hispanic/Latino Advisory Board. He also served on the Fannie Mae Advisory Board and the American Bankers Association Communications Council. 

He was chairman of The Greater San Antonio Chamber of Commerce, The Greater El Paso Chamber Foundation, and president of The American Chamber of Commerce in Mexico City. He was the 1995 recipient of The National Conference of Christians and Jews Humanitarian Award. Martinez-Fonts currently serves on the board of the Safe America Foundation and Recall Infolink.

Young Alumni Medallion

Ivanley Noisette ’08, Political Science

Ivanley Noisette graduated in 2008 from Villanova’s College of Liberal Arts & Sciences with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and concentrations in Peace & Justice, Africana Studies, and History and received a Master of Public Service from the William J. Clinton School of Public Service, University of Arkansas, in 2011, with concentrations in Development, Education and Social Change.    

In recognition of his excellent academic and leadership record, Noisette was awarded the first George J. Mitchell Scholar ever bestowed on a Villanovan in 2011 and studied Human Rights Law and Transitional Justice at the University of Ulster, Northern Ireland. While in Belfast, he served as a research assistant for the Northern Ireland Council for Ethnic Minorities (NICEM), drafting portions of NICEM’s new Racial Equality Strategy; participated in diversity training workshops; researched migrant contributions to the Irish and UK economies; provided research for a presentation on mineral wealth in the DRC and UK aid to that country. 

After the devastating earthquake in Haiti, Noisette led efforts to establish the Hope for Haiti Little Rock Initiative, organizing post-earthquake relief fundraisers and disaster preparedness initiatives in collaboration with the Clinton Foundation and the American Red Cross.  He spearheaded a multi-media campaign to raise awareness of the earthquake’s incredible destruction.  Regarding Africa, Noisette has worked as a research assistant with Bridge2Rwanda where he proposed higher education recommendations to the Rwandan Presidential Advisory Council on the competitive market for merit-based scholarships.  Additionally, for the Ministry of Education in Kigali, Rwanda, he wrote concept notes for three new offices: International Student Cultural Exchange, Office of University Partnerships and Skills/Test Prep Center and organized workshops on the Modular System of Higher Education. 

In 2011, Noisette also served as a research assistant for The College Board: Global Literacy Project in Philadelphia, where he co-authored the published research report, Global Education: Connections, Concepts and Careers, highlighting the skills necessary for success in the ever-evolving globalized world. While in Arkansas, Noisette worked with the Arkansas Community Foundation in Little Rock.  There he co-authored the Convening-in-a-Box Toolkit: A Community Foundation’s Resource for Best Practice.

As an undergraduate at Villanova, Noisette served in various student leadership positions among them Editor-in-Chief, The Culture magazine (Social Justice and Development), President, Black Cultural Society, Vice-Provost, The Paragon of Villanova Leadership Honor Society and Co-chair, Multicultural Students League.   

Graduate Alumni Medallion

Jennifer Gosetti-Ferencei, PhD, Philosophy

Dr. Jennifer Gosetti-Ferencei is Professor of Philosophy at Fordham University in New York City and a Research Associate for The Balzan Project on Literature as an Object of Knowledge at St. John’s College, University of Oxford in the United Kingdom.  She graduated from the Honors Tutorial College at Ohio University with a Bachelor of Arts summa cum laude in Philosophy with a minor in English in 1993.  Dr. Gosetti-Ferencei received her Master of Arts in Philosophy (1995) and was the first to receive a PhD in Philosophy from Villanova University (1999).   

Dr. Gosetti-Ferencei has also earned a Master of Fine Arts in Poetry from Columbia University, a Master of Studies with Distinction in European Literature from St. Catherine’s College and a Doctor of Philosophy in Modern Languages and Literatures (German) from St. John’s College, both at the University of Oxford, United Kingdom. Her interests include 19th and 20th century Continental philosophy, philosophy of literature, and aesthetics. 

In addition to many articles on these topics, Dr. Gosetti-Ferencei’s publications include Exotic Spaces in German modernism (Oxford University Press); The Ecstatic Quotidian: Phenomenological Sightings in Modern Art and Literature (Pennsylvania State University Press, 2007); Heidegger, Hölderlin, and the Subject of Poetic Language (Fordham University Press, 2004); and a translation, with Matthias Fritsch, of Heidegger's Phenomenology of Religious Life (Indiana University Press, 2004). She has also published a book of poetry, After the Palace Burns (Zoo Press, 2003), which won the Paris Review Prize in poetry. 

Among her notable awards and achievements,  Dr. Gosetti-Ferencei has earned the Fordham University Undergraduate Teaching Award for the Arts and Humanities, American Library Association Outstanding Academic Title/CHOICE Award (for The Ecstatic Quotidian), been named a Clarendon Scholar at Oxford along with the John Tich Award for Excellence in Philosophy at Villanova.

About Villanova University: Since 1842, Villanova University’s Augustinian Catholic intellectual tradition has been the cornerstone of an academic community in which students learn to think critically, act compassionately and succeed while serving others. There are more than 10,000 undergraduate, graduate and law students in the University's five colleges – the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the Villanova School of Business, the College of Engineering, the College of Nursing and the Villanova University School of Law. As students grow intellectually, Villanova prepares them to become ethical leaders who create positive change everywhere life takes them.