University Lectures and Events

  • The Path of the Unaccompanied Minor: Examining Legal and Community Responses to a Humanitarian Crisis 
    A joint initiative of the Villanova School of Law Clinical Program, the Villanova University Partnership with Catholic Relief Services and Villanova Campus Ministry.  Drawing on the expertise of those who have first-hand experience working with these children from the “Northern Triangle” countries of Central America, the purpose of the conference was to shed light on the seriousness of the crisis, the moral and ethical responsibility to address it, and to recommend specific action on a number of levels that can be taken. Panelists included: Juan R. Sheenan, Catholic Relief Services (CRS) Country Representative for Honduras; Bridget Cambria, Esq. and Jacquelyn Kline, Esq., Partners, Cambria & Kline, PC, Specializing in Immigration Law; Carol Anne Donohue, Esq., Immigration Attorney, President of the Greater Reading Immigration Project; Julia Gill, Esq., Catholic Charities, RCC Diocese of Wilmington; Rev. Fr. Bruce Lewandowski, C. SS. R, Vicar for Cultural Ministries, Archdiocese of Philadelphia; Beth Lyon, Esq.,  Professor of Law, Director, Farmworker Legal Aid Clinic, Villanova University; Michael Matza, Philadelphia Inquirer Staff Writer on Immigration; Justin Mixon, Esq., Immigrant Youth Attorney, Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society; Michael P. Moreland, Esq., Vice Dean and Professor of Law, Villanova University; Gracie Murphree, President of the USA Board of Directors of Heart of Christ; Jennifer Nagda, Esq., Policy Director for the Young Center for Immigrant Children’s Rights; Michele R. Pistone, Esq., Professor of Law, Director, Clinic for Asylum, Refugee and Emigrant Services Villanova University; Sarah Plastino, Esq., Supervising Attorney for Pro Bono Programs at Kids in Need of Defense; Elissa Steglich, Esq.  Managing attorney at the American Friends Service Committee's Immigrant Rights Program in Newark, New Jersey; Cathi Tillman, Founder and Executive Director of La Puerta Abierta; Juan Marcelo Ulin Az, Immigrated from Guatemala on his own to the U.S., at the age of 16; Catherine E. Wilson, PhD, Associate Professor, Department of Public Administration, Villanova University.  ACS and CLE Approved (300 in attendance including attorneys who received CLE Credit) (4/9/2015) Event Program  *  National Catholic Reporter coverage * YouTube video of the Conference  *  CRS video on Unaccompanied Minors
  • Faith and the Environment Panel: Empowering the Care of Creation
    Co-sponsored by The Center for Peace and Justice Education, Office of Sustainability and The CRS Partnership with Villanova University. This event involved discussion of concrete steps to creation care - with intentions to leave students/faculty feeling empowered to do so.  Panelists included Rear Admiral David W. Titley, USN (Ret) who led the US Navy’s Task Force on Climate Change; Gaye Burpee, a Sr. Technical Advisor at Catholic Relief Services; and Dan Misleh, Executive Director of the Catholic Climate Covenant.  ACS Approved Event. (11/11/2014)

Faculty Development

  • Faculty/Staff Workshop Fall 2014: Building Resilience in Poor Communities through Information and Communications Technology for Development  (ICT4D)
    Shaun Ferris, CRS Director of Agricultural Livelihoods; Stephen Hellen, CRS Director of ICT Architecture Design; and Marianna Hensley, CRS Regional Technical Advisor for Monitoring and Evaluation, Accountability and Learning for CRS’ East and South Asia Region; will offer an exciting overview and specific examples of how the agency is using ICT cutting-edge innovations to creatively meet agricultural, market, financial, and health needs and build resilience in very poor communities. (43 in attendence)
  • CRS 2015 Information and Communications Technology for Development Conference (ICT4D) Increasing Impact Through Innovation, Chicago, IL
    The CRS Partnership sponsored Dr. Pritpal Singh, Professor and Chairman of the Electrical and Computing Engineering Department at Villanova, who spoke at the ICT4D conference on the Fostering Innovation Panel on the subject of 'Partnering with NGO's, In-Country Universities and Governmental Organizations for Engaging Students in International Development Projects'. Over the last five years, Dr. Singh has been working with students on designing and developing technologies to solve problems in rural Nicaragua.  

Curriculum Faculty Learning Commons (FLC) Sessions

  • Fall 2014
    •     Addressing Hunger Through Livelihoods and Food Security (13 classes participated)
      • Session 1 - Food Security
      • Session 2 - Climate Change and Food Security in the Worlds Most Vulnerable Regions
  • Spring 2015 (5 classes participated)
    • Technology and Justice: How Information Technology is Changing International Development
      • Session I - ICT4D - Healthier Communities
      • Session II - ICT4D - Better Business

CRS Classroom/Departmental Lectures

  • Theology and Religious Studies Graduate Course: Church Agencies Building the Capacity to Transform and Be Transformed  For the first time, Professors Suzanne Toton and Christine Tucker, Catholic Relief Services Senior Advisor – Strategy and Organizational Development, collaborated on a course. The course focused on how CRS, a church agency, has built the capacity to become a more effective instrument for furthering compassion, justice, and peace in the global society. view syllabus (Fall 2014)
  • Working for an International Non-Governmental Agency in Microfinance Guy Vanmeenen, CRS Senior Technical Advisor for Microfinance in South Africa (12/2014)

CRS Ambassador Events and Internships

  •  Campus Climate March, April 23 Villanova's CRS Ambassadors joined with PESC, the Student Sustainability Network and others for a historic Campus Climate March in solidarity with the world's poor and vulnerable. They learned about the linkages between climate change and faith, food choice, and what you study. Ted Miles, CRS’ Representative to the Catholic Climate Covenant, spoke on “Climate Change, Theology, and International Development,” at the March.
  • Season of Solidarity - Interfaith Vigil for Families Fleeing Conflict in Syria and Iraq, Wednesday, December 3 The Villanova community joined together in the St. Thomas of Villanova Church  to Learn, Pray, Act and Give during this Season of Solidarity for the 13.6 million Syrians and Iraqis who have been displaced due to  the crisis in the region due to the spreading violence of ISIS.  Kim Pozniak, CRS Communications Officer for Global Emergencies, and Barbara Fraze, International Editor for the Catholic News Service, recently returned from the region, addressed the situation. Donations to  gave support to the families essential living supplies, safe housing, hygiene kits, medical care and trauma counseling.  
  • CRS Ambassador Regional Training Workshop, Villanova University, Saturday, October 25th, Garey Hall
  • The Bread for the World National Gathering, held in Washington DC in June, was attend by three CRS Ambassadors. Bread for the World is a collective Christian voice urging our nation's leaders to end hunger at home and abroad.The Ambassadors attended sessions and participated in Lobby Day to advocate on hunger issues.
  • Matthew Myers ’15 (Graduate Studies in Theology and Religious Studies and Masters in Public Administration), CRS Northeast/Regional Office, Spring,2015
  • Rodrigo Rivera '16 (Political Science and Theology and Religious Studies), CRS Northeast/Regional Office, Fall 2014
  • Andrew Zoeller ' 16 (Law School), CRS International Headquarters, Summer 2014
  • Siobhan Cooney '14 (Theology and Religious Studies), CRS International Headquarters, Summer 2014 
  • Morgan Gruenewald '15 (Political Science), CRS International Headquarters, Summer 2014

CRS Employment

Jennifer Maez, '13 accepted the position of Program Director for Operation Rice Bowl

CRS Sabbatical

Guy Vanmeenen, CRS Senior Technical Advisor Microfinance Africa, is spending his sabbatical in residence at Villanova. Fall 2014

CRS Fellow in Rwanda

Jerica Youngken '08 (VSB, Accountancy) is serving as an International Development Fellow in Kigali, Rwanda

Partnership 10th Year Anniversary

Rev. Peter M. Donohue, President, Villanova University and Joan Rosenhauer, Executive Vice President, U.S. Operations, Catholic Relief Services signed the Renewal of the Institutional Memorandum of Understanding with CRS and the New University Contractual Agreement with CRS Madagascar during a luncheon to celebrate the Tenth Anniversary of Villanova University's Partnership with Catholic Relief Services (4/14/15)