Highlights 2011 - 2012

Villanova's Learning Communities Highlights of 2011-2012


End of Year Dinner - Commuters' Leadership Community

Plate of delicious fruit
Pasta Dinner
Veggie Plate
Delcious Cake - You are special
End of Year Commuter Learning Community dinner

The Commuters' Leadership Community met at the home of the professor for an end of dinner dinner. Delicious food displayed above was a highlight of our dinner. A great time was had by all.


Trip to Tyler Arboretum

On April 1st, students from the ACS Environmental Leadership Learning Community along with three faculty members spent an afternoon of walking and exploration at Tyler Arboretum.  Tyler's historical grounds offer abundant tree and flower specimens, trails, and a reconstruction of Henry David Thoreau's Walden Pond cabin.

Tyler Arboretum Trip
Tyler Arboretum Trip

Saint Monica Paint Ball Trip

Saint Monica Paint Ball Trip


Trip to Gettysburg

" It is easy to label the Gettysburg trip as the most educational, interesting, and enjoyable ACS event this year."

" I must say that ... the Gettysburg trip was in fact AWESOME."

Seventy first-year Leadership students and four ACS faculty boarded buses on March 29 for the annual overnight trip to Gettysburg.  This has become one of the highlights of the Spring semester in Leadership and is preceded by several weeks of serious readings and class discussions of the complex issues over which so many Confederate and Union soldiers fought and died on this historic battlefield. 

After a late night spent with friends eating pizza and swimming at the Motel, students embarked the next morning to the Gettysburg National Museum.  They viewed the spectacular Cyclorama of this battle and lingered in the highly interactive museum.  After lunch in town, students relished a two hour tour of the battlefield and a quiet walk through the cemetery to the site where Lincoln stood when he delivered his memorable Gettysburg Address.

"...seeing [the battlefield] in person really puts everything into perspective.  It was breathtaking and humbling to stand...on the field where Pickett's charge took place.  I live in Boston, so I've been spoon-fed "The Revolutionary War" since childhood.  However, traveling to Gettysburg and seeing the battlefield in person made me see how huge and crucial the Civil War was to America."

Gettysburg Trip - Canon and students
Gettsburg Trip
Professor and students

Students in Blankets - Gettysburg

Gettsburg Trip - Group of students


An Evening with Dante

The Leadership Learning Community enjoyed an “Evening with Dante”  on December 7 in the Villanova Room, Connelly Center. The celebration included a special Purgatorio welcome, opulent dinner buffet, sinful desserts and entertaining student performances.


Students in the Healthy Living Community particpated in the American Heart Association's Philadelphia Heart Walk during November.  Along with other teams from Villanova, they walked to raise awareness around heart disease and stroke, which are the leading causes of death and disability in the US.  More than a million people in 300+ cities across America stood together that day to take a stand against heart disease and help save lives!

Past and present members of the Global Learning Community gathered for a reunion over pizza in the Italian Kitchen on November 3.  Some seventy students attended, representing all four years at Villanova and even some alums.

Moriarity's Leadership Learning Community Trips

Bertucci's outing
Leadership Learning Community study break outing to Bertucci's
professional dance show, Ballet X (a contemporary ballet company)
During November, the Moriarty community, attended a professional dance show, Ballet X (a contemporary ballet company). It was a great event at the Wilma Theatre in Philly.

Student Climate and Morality Colloquium

On November 10, approximately 40 students presented in 7 panels on a variety of topics related to climate change problems and human morality.  It was a successful, productive and thought-provoking Colloquium.

Student Climate and Morality Colloquium
Faculty members at the Colloquium
Presenters at the Colloquium
Presenters at the Colloquium

Student Climate and Morality Colloquium
Student attendees
Student Climate Survey Presenters


Fieldtrip to Longview Center for Agriculture on October 22

the Environmental Leadership Learning Community
Environmental Leadership Learning Community
Environmental Leadership Learning Community
Environmental Leadership Learning Community

International Foods Night

The International Foods Night was held in Delurey Hall. Residents spent a good time hanging out in the lounge and enjoying some great food.

Students at International Night Party
Food at International Night!
Students at International Night
Food at International Night
Students at International Night Event

Leadership Dinner Trip


Ralph Gigliotti took his freshman Leadership Learning Community to Chipotle for a class outing dinner. The students enjoyed their off-campus meal and the night was full of great conversation. Discussions are underway concerning plans for a Christmas-time outing! This is just one of the many opportunities to build community and friendship in St. Monica’s Hall, one of the South Campus freshmen dorms at Villanova University.

Peace a Pizza Night

Pweeace a Pizza group picture

A group of Leadership Learning Community students and Dr. Carpenter ventured out to Peace A Pizza one night after class to continue the conversation (ok, debate is more like it) about the battle between the sexes that seems to arise in the third chapter of Genesis, the first book of both the Hebrew and Christian Bible.  Three pizzas and several ice cream cones later, we were as full of good food as we were with theological questions! But it was a wonderful time of getting to know each other better and having fun outside of the classroom.

Philadelphia Museum of Art Trip

The big event for both the Katharine and Monica learning communities so far was our visit to the Philadelphia Museum of Art to see the exhibition "Rembrandt and the Face of Jesus."  The Museum's Victoria Fletcher visited campus on September 28 to give a lecture to prepare the students for the exhibition.  Some 350+ students visited the Museum over four dates: October 1, 2, 22 and 23.


On September 7, the Katharine learning communities hosted Iftekhar Hussain, chairperson of the Pennsylvania chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Lectures (CAIR), for the lecture "Everything You Ever Wanted To Know about Islam but Were Afraid To Ask."

Environmental Leadership Learning Community Trips

Learning Community visit to McKauig Nature Center - Monkey Rock

The Environmental Leadership Learning Community took a field trip to the McKaig Nature Center on September 15th.  The trip was led by Dr. Frank Galgano.  The class is pictured in front of the center’s famous geological formation, “Monkey Rock.”

Learning Communities Tour of Campus sustainable efforts

The class took a guided tour of the sustainable efforts and facilities on-campus.  The campus tour was led by Dr. Robert Traver.  Several class members are pictured in front of the new water run-off system installed adjacent to the SAC parking garage. 

Past Highlights

"These first-year students in this photo below with the One Book Villanova author Craig Mullaney in the center are all from the various Leaning Communities.  As members of the Learning Communities these students were selected to meet the author, have dinner with him, and afterwards they formed the panel who asked Craig questions based on this book, An Unforgiving Minute before a standing room only crowd of about 500 students and faculty."


Nearly thirty Global Community students accompanied professors to three "Sharing Ramadan" events sponsored by the Council on American-Islamic Relations.  The students attended the prayer service at the foundation for Islamic Education on Montgomery Avenue in Villanova.  Afterwards, they joined the community for dinner and fellowship in the Foundation's gymnasium.

The last three years of the Learning Communities Abroad program gathered for a reunion on the occasion of the opening of the art exhibition "The Quiet Men," in the second floor galleries of the Connelly Center.  London-born Irish painter Brian Whelan, whose work is included in the exhibition, gave a reflection on its theme: the experience of Irish immigrants, in particular Irish men, in London during the first half or so of the twentieth century.  (The LCA program sends students to London and Madrid.)

Dr. John Immerwahr's Leadership sections went out for an Indian Buffet lunch at EKTA (yummy new Indian restaurant) on the Saturday of Labor Day weekend.

The Art and Culture sections were invited to view the final dress rehearsal of "Three Days of Rain," a graduate theatre production on campus.  Students were able to see what a technical run looks like and to help the actors learn their timing with a real audience.  Later, the director visited with both groups back in their residence halls to discuss the preparation of the play and the choices he made, as well as to listen to their opinions of the performance.

The Art and Culture sections attended an art exhibit called "The Quiet Men," which displayed a collection of works by various Irish immigrants who made their home in London.  Displayed in the campus art gallery, the works reflected the difficulties of a life working abroad and the struggle to maintain and celebrate one's cultural identity.  Students listened to a talk by one of the artists and enjoyed a friendly reception in Connelly Center afterward.

Nature and the World learning community visited Skunk Hollow Farm, a new organic community farm near campus.  Farmer Sean Roulan gave the students and faculty a tour of the farm, explaining the methods and values he brings to farming, as well as the dilemmas he encounters.  Everyone had opportunities to do some weeding, observe caterpillars that will become pollinator insects, and taste tomatoes, an heirloom variety of string bean, ground cherries, and other produce.  Our conversations made connections between our classroom discussions of farming and public knowledge about where food comes from, the actual realities of raising, harvesting, and eating locally-grown vegetables.  The learning community is looking forward to helping Farmer Sean with some late-winter seed starting.


Many students in the Nature and the World learning community attended an Environmental Justice Forum at Rutgers University in Camden, NJ.  Hearing of the acute environmental problems and health impacts in Camden heightened our awareness of the human problems that result from environmental pollution and the ways in which poverty and racial inequality make some populations more vulnerable to environmental degradation.

Nature and the World learning community enjoyed a dinner of organic and local foods in the company of sophomores, juniors, and seniors who were students in the Environmental learning community in past years.  The evening focused on making mentoring connections and giving students the opportunity to express their hopes for the future of the learning community and environmental efforts on the Villanova campus.

Several sections of the Leadership learning community went to the Phillies game where they enthusiastically cheered on the Phillies to their 7th win in a row, which then gave the team solo first place in the NL East for the first time since the beginning of the summer.  The students actually were able to get themselves on the Citizens Park's jumbo screen "Fanavision," so the entire ball park knew Villanova was there.


The day several Leadership sections submitted their first college paper, their professor invited the students to enjoy a home-cooked meal at her nearby home.  After a month of being away from home, as much as the food, the students relished eating in a "real" dining room in a house, not a university cafeteria.

The Leadership learning community attended its first of several lectures specifically given for St. Monica's, the residence hall in which they live.  Dr. John Immerwahr gave the lecture on Plato's famous story of the cave and engaged his audience by demonstrating how it applied to leaders, both in Ancient Greece and today.  Afterwards, over cookies back in the residence hall, students shared their comments on the lecture as they blogged on their class web sites.

Two more Leadership and Virtue sections went to a professor's house for a hamburger cookout on two separate evenings.  One just wanted an evening off campus together so that they could get to know each other better but the other wanted to watch the movieThe Matrix together since their class reading and discussion had raised the point that its creators had drawn heavily from Plato's "Cave Analogy."  Everyone had a great time and were as appreciative of the time together as they were of the time spent in a totally different setting.