Villanova Magazine - News - Fall 2017

News Department  

Fullbright Students Excel Abroad

Villanova Fullbright students pose on campus

Twelve Villanovans—11 from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, and one from the College of Engineering—were awarded 2017–18 Fulbright U.S. Student Grants to perform research or teach English in foreign countries. Pictured: doctoral student Amanda Holmes ’15 MA, Karla Guadron ’15, James O’Donnell ’17, Melissa Madden ’13, Christine Butchko ’17, Brendan Carchidi ’17 and Meghan Cullinan ’17. Not pictured: Nora Doherty ’15, Ellen Moxley ’17, Payal Shah ’17 COE, Briana Taylor ’15 and Linda Nguyen ’17.

Program Offers Capital Experience

Three Villanovans network at event

Selected as the inaugural cohort of Villanova on the Hill, the University’s newest immersive experience program, 15 graduate and undergraduate students explored the policymaking and political ecosystem of Washington, D.C., and connected with highly placed alumni, including members of the Villanova Public Policy Society. One highlight of the weeklong program was an Oct. 11 reception uniting alumni, parents and friends in Washington with the Rev. Peter M. Donohue, OSA, PhD, ’75 CLAS, University president, and Adele Lindenmeyr, PhD, dean, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. The keynote speaker was retired Navy Adm. William Fallon ’67 CLAS (left, talking with Catherine Wilson, PhD, ’94 CLAS, chair, Public Administration; and John Vernon ’19 JD, student leader, Villanova on the Hill). Robert Murphy ’83 JD hosted the event at the Metropolitan Club.

Expert Steers McNulty Institute

Terri Boyer headshot

Teresa “Terri” Boyer, EdD, ’95 CLAS has taken the helm as founding director of the Anne Welsh McNulty Institute or Women’s Leadership. A leader in economic and social equity for women, Dr. Boyer previously worked as executive director of the Center for Women and Work at Rutgers University. At the McNulty Institute’s official launch Oct. 26, Anne-Marie Slaughter, JD, DPhil, president and CEO of New America, delivered the keynote.

Words and Deeds Build Hope

Eboo Patel speaks on campus

The University’s 2017 St. Thomas of Villanova Celebration, Sept. 19–24, kicked off with a lecture on the power of interfaith cooperation by Eboo Patel, the author of the 2017–18 One Book Villanova selection, Acts of Faith: The Story of an American Muslim, the Struggle for the Soul of a Generation.

Volunteers hold a sign before the Day of Service

For the celebration’s Day of Service, more than 5,000 students, faculty, staff and alumni volunteered at 138 service sites throughout Greater Philadelphia, as well as in locales nationwide.

President Takes Higher Ed Lead

The Rev. Peter M. Donohue, OSA, PhD, ’75 CLAS is among the first college presidents to sign the CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion™ Pledge, the largest CEO-driven business commitment to advance diversity and inclusion within the workplace. Father Donohue also has been appointed to the board of directors of the American Council on Education, the major coordinating body for the nation’s colleges and universities. During his three year term, he will represent the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities.

Engineers Address I-95 Runoff

Faculty member in a high-visibility vest tests storm water

Civil and Environmental Engineering faculty and students teamed up with the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation to improve stormwater runoff from I-95, one of the country’s most congested interstates. Guided by Robert Traver, PhD, PE, DWRE, FEWRI, FASCE, ’82 MS, the Edward A. Daylor Chair in Civil Engineering (pictured), students are exploring how the use of green infrastructure such as rain gardens
and swales can make I-95 more sustainable and reduce pollution of the Delaware River.


In fiscal year 2017, more than 21,700 undergraduate alumni, including 951 seniors from the Class of 2017,
made gifts to Villanova. Overall undergraduate alumni participation reached a record 28 percent, while senior class giving reached a record 63 percent. Gifts and pledges from all constituents totaled more than $108 million—marking the fourth consecutive year Villanova surpassed $100 million in support.


Brett Frishmann poses in suit

Two faculty in the Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law received one of Villanova’s highest academic honors: appointments as University professors. This distinction recognizesfaculty whose extraordinary scholarship crossesdisciplines and colleges. Brett Frischmann, JD (left), was named the Charles Widger Endowed University Professor in Law, Business and Economics. Professor Frischmann excels at intellectual property and internet law, and is furthering Villanova’s programming at the intersection of law and business.

Michael Moreland in graudation robes

Michael P. Moreland, JD, PhD (left), was appointed University Professor of Law and Religion. A scholar of constitutional law, torts, bioethics and religious freedom, Dr. Moreland also serves as the director of the Eleanor H. McCullen Center for Law, Religion and Public Policy.

CPS Crafts New Major

The College of Professional Studies has a new major for adults seeking to earn or complete an undergraduate degree. The BIS in Administration and Management for Professionals, launched this fall, provides students with the essential knowledge, understanding and tools they need to succeed as administration and management professionals. As with many CPS programs, industry demand drove the inception of the major.

Medal Honors Pioneer in Cancer Genetics

Olufunmilayo Olopade smiling

To recognize her work in developing strategies for cancer risk assessment and prevention based on an evolving understanding of genetic and nongenetic factors in patients, Villanova awarded its 2017 Mendel Medal to Olufunmilayo Olopade, MD, FACP, OON. Dr. Olopade is the Walter L. Palmer Distinguished Service Professor of Medicine and Human Genetics, and director of the Center for Clinical Cancer Genetics at the University of Chicago.

Faculty Share Expertise in Disability Care

Doctor talks to patient in exam room.

College of Nursing faculty and the National League for Nursing’s Center for Excellence in the Care of Vulnerable Populations launched a free online program that gives nurse educators nationwide the tools to
teach students proficiency in disability care. “Advancing Care Excellence for Persons With Disabilities” is the
newest curriculum to be added to NLN’s educational modules. It expands on strategies and materials that have been used to teach Villanova’s nursing students about caring for individuals with disabilities.

Enhanced Master of Accounting With Data Analytics

Villanova professor views students' work on computer

In fall 2018, the Villanova School of Business will offer its Master of Accounting With Data Analytics in a full-time, yearlong format. Redesigned with input from the Big 4 and other firms, the curriculum will integrate data analytics, build leadership and negotiation skills, and offer more specialized elective courses. These
enhancements will continue aligning students’ skills with evolving market demands.

National Distinction for College of Nursing

Nursing student and professor test stethoscope on dummy

The National League for Nursing has again designated Villanova’s College of Nursing a Center of Excellence in Nursing Education. The College has held this honor since 2004, when it was one of three inaugural designees. It was recognized at the NLN’s 2017 Education Summit in San Diego. During the summit, three faculty members were inducted into the NLN Academy of Nursing Education: Nancy Sharts-Hopko, PhD, RN, FAAN, ANEF, professor; Bette Mariani, PhD, RN, ANEF, ’82 CON, associate professor; and Colleen Meakim, RN, CHSE, ANEF, ’84 MSN, director, Simulation and Learning Resource Center.

Researchers Award Major Grants

Several Villanova professors in science fields recently have been awarded grants from national organizations:

  • Samantha Chapman, PhD, associate professor of Biology, received a National Science Foundation
    grant for her research on how mangroves may provide an economic and ecological solution to
    coastal wetland protection. Collaborators include department colleague Adam Langley, PhD.
  • As principal investigator of a National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration grant, Stephen Strader, PhD, assistant professor, Geography and the Environment, will study how to reduce vulnerabilities and improve capacities among mobile-home residents in the path of tornadoes.
  • An NSF Major Research Instrumentation award will support the acquisition of an inductivelycoupled plasma mass spectrometer system for ecological and environmental research.

Rising Humanities Star

Associate Professor James Matthew Wilson, PhD, received the 2017 Hiett Prize in the Humanities from the Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture. The award identifies early-career candidates whose work shows great promise and has a strong public component related to contemporary culture.

Real Deal on Fake News

Panel discussion on stage

Jason Steinhauer, director, Albert Lepage Center for History in the Public Interest (left), welcomed Jonathan Zimmerman, professor of History of Education, University of Pennsylvania; Cristina Soriano, associate professor of History, Villanova; and Bill Marimow, vice president and editor-at-large, Philadelphia Media Network LLC, to the center’s debut event, “Fake News and Fake History,” held Sept. 18. Panelists took a critical look at recent news distortions and falsifications of the past.

1842 Day Unites 4.7K Villanovans

Students pose in front of green screen for iPad photo

Villanova held its first-ever giving day Sept. 19 and 20, raising $6.6 million, including a $1,842,000 challenge gift from the Board of Trustees. Named in honor of the University’s founding year, 1842 Day united alumni, parents, faculty, staff, students and friends, surging past its goal of 1,842 donors in 1,842 minutes. More than 4,750 donors from all 50 states, Washington, D.C., and nine countries contributed to 150 areas across the University. Villanovans were also encouraged to contribute photos to the 1842 Day mosaic (pictured).

Marketing Professor Holds Naclerio Chair

Kees teaches to class

Award-winning teacher-scholar Jeremy Kees, PhD, was named the Richard J. and Barbara Naclerio Endowed Chair in Business. The faculty director for the Center for Marketing and Consumer Insights in the Villanova School of Business, Dr. Kees has authored more than 30 publications in some of the most prestigious business journals.

Dr. Perry Named Interim Dean

Dr Perry's headshot

Lesley A. Perry, PhD, RN, who most recently served as the associate dean of the College of Nursing, is filling the role of interim dean for the College. Dr. Perry, who came to Villanova in 2006, has provided critical leadership for the College’s academic programs, strategic planning, daily operations, and faculty recruitment and development. She played a central role in the College’s reaccreditation, was integral in the planning and design of Driscoll Hall, and has obtained funding for College initiatives.

Fullbright Takes Engineer to Cambodia

Engineers studying machine and computer

Garrett Clayton, PhD, associate professor of Mechanical Engineering (left), was awarded a Fulbright Scholar research and teaching grant to continue work on robotic solutions for minefield-area reduction in Cambodia. During his four-month stay, which begins in April 2018, Dr. Clayton also will teach mechatronics at the Institute of Technology of Cambodia.

CLAS Salutes Alumni

Four honored alumns posing on campus

At a celebration Oct. 4, the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences presented its Rev. Kail C. Ellis, OSA Alumni Medallion to Joseph McCarthy ’84, P ’17 and the Rev. Robert Hagan, OSA, JD, ’87. Other honorees were Graduate Alumni Medallion recipient Sue Franz ’89 PhD (not pictured), and Young Alumni Medallion recipients Kelly Stoner ’08 and Elise K. Scioscia ’08, ’10 MA.

CRS Partnership Soars

Villanova student installs water treatment equipment in third-world country

Villanova’s partnership with Catholic Relief Services was especially active this past summer. Students from across the University spent eight weeks with CRS in Madagascar, helping with projects related to clean water and sanitation, health promotion, business planning, document translation, and GIS mapping. Meanwhile, CRS professionals worldwide gathered at Villanova for CRS’ first “Perfecting Partnership” workshop. The six-day training helped CRS staff to hone their skills in partnership and capacity strengthening, and gave them access to Villanova’s expertise in church management and other areas.

Heading U.S. Commission

Daniel Mark poses in an urban setting

In June, Daniel Mark, PhD, assistant professor, Political Science, was elected chairman of the US Commission on International Religious Freedom. Dr. Mark previously served as vice chairman of the independent, bipartisan body, which assesses violations of religious freedom worldwide and makes policy recommendations to the president, the secretary of state and Congress.

Professor Elected to Executive Roles

Headshot of Quinnetta Robertson

Professor Quinetta Roberson, PhD, the Fred J. Springer Endowed Chair in Business Leadership, has been chosen as vice president-elect and program chair-elect of the Academy of Management, the preeminent professional association for management and organization scholars. Dr. Roberson teaches and researches human resource management and organizational behavior, specializing in diversity and inclusion, talent management, managing global teams, and leadership.

Best Paper Tackles Corporate Crime

Josephine Sandler Nelson with crossed arms in library

A recent article by Josephine Sandler Nelson, JD, associate professor of Law, has been recognized with two top awards—the Holmes-Cardozo Award for best submitted conference paper and the Distinguished Proceedings Award—by the Academy of Legal Studies in Business. In her article “‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ Corporate Crime,” Nelson discusses the way large-scale corporate crime is driven and shaped by incentives centered on policing what corporations say, rather than what they do.

Public Affairs Study Earns Top Honors

Christine Palus headshot

Christine Palus, PhD, dean, Graduate Studies, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, won this year’s Beryl Radin Award for Best Article in the Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory. In their paper, Dr. Palus, an associate professor of Public Administration, and co-author Susan Webb Yackee, PhD, of the University of Wisconsin– Madison, challenge the perception that being politically aligned with elected leaders gives government agency officials more discretion.

VSB Professors’ Book Wins Award

Mike Castrilli and Charles Zech, PhD, both of the Villanova School of Business’ Center for Church Management, won second place in the 2017 Catholic Press Association Awards for their book Parish Finance: Best Practices in Church Management. The CPA awards recognize the meaningful contributions of authors and publishers of Catholic work.

Legal Fellow Represents Veterans

Richard Prebil at his desk

Richard Prebil ’17 JD is one of a select group of law graduates chosen as 2017 Equal Justice Works Fellows. Through this public-interest fellowship, Prebil will spend two years with the Military Assistance Project, a nonprofit that provides pro bono legal services for active-duty, reserve and veteran military personnel.

CPS Builds Leadership Skills

Monica Allen presents to a group

College of Professional Studies students and University staff, including Monica Allen, manager, Marketing, in the Villanova School of Business (center), had the opportunity to strengthen their leadership education and professional skills development at CPS’ 2017 Leadership Series. The June event focused on the topics of dispute resolution and leading through disruption. Presenting the workshops were Gerry McGuckin and Mike Tosi, both of the National Mediation Board; and Sean Branagan, PhD, director, Center for Digital Media Entrepreneurship, at Syracuse University, and founder and president of Communigration Inc.

Engineering Presentation Impresses

Andrew Lee gives presentation

Mechanical Engineering junior Andrew Lee spent his summer in France at the Grenoble Innovation for Advanced New Technologies campus, where he worked on nanomaterial research. At the final symposium of the 10-week GIANT International Internship Programme, Andrew received the award for best presentation.

Football Head Coaching Position Endowed

Mark Jackson and Thomas Treacy, EdD, ’69, ’71 MA and Diane Treacy ’82 MS pose with a football

At a Sept. 15 dinner, Thomas Treacy, EdD, ’69, ’71 MA and Diane Treacy ’82 MS, along with Mark Jackson, Director of Athletics (right), celebrated the naming of the Thomas and Diane Treacy Endowed Head Football Coach. The Treacys are members of the 1842 Heritage Society and the Matthew Carr Society, and are involved in the Villanova Club of Naples, Fla. Mark Ferrante is the inaugural holder of the endowed position.

Province Honors Wrights

Patti and Jay Wright pose with their award

The Augustinians of the Province of St. Thomas of Villanova honored Patty (Reilly) Wright ’83 CLAS and Jay Wright, the William B. Finneran Endowed Head Coach for Men’s Basketball, with the inaugural Saint Augustine Medal April 27 in New York City. The medal was instituted to recognize individuals who have promoted and exemplified Augustinian values, and served the community.

Dinner in Blue and White

Father Peter presides over outdoor mass and dinner

Guests dressed in shades of Villanova to celebrate the University’s 75th anniversary at the “Dinner in Blue and White” Sept. 9. The unique outdoor experience included Mass in the Grotto, followed by cocktails and dinner on the Riley Ellipse, with live performances chronicling important figures in Villanova’s history.

Fan Fare

Wildcat fans at a football game

Attendees at the football home opener this fall not only saw the Wildcats pounce to victory but also enjoyed an enhanced game-day experience, thanks to several Villanova Stadium updates and new amenities. Highlights include the Fan Fest in the west end zone (pictured), the pregame Wildcat Walk in the A-2 parking lot and the relocated Kids Zone.

Major Moments

Villanova football player in uniform

Four Wildcats caught the attention of pro organizations last spring. In the NFL draft, the Kansas City Chiefs picked defensive end Tanoh Kpassagnon ’16 VSB (pictured) in the second round, and the Tennessee Titans took offensive tackle Brad Seaton ’16 CLAS in the seventh. In the MLB draft, the Tampa Bay Rays selected left-handed pitcher Hunter Schryver ’17 COE in the seventh round. The Colorado Rockies chose second baseman Todd Czinege’17 VSB in the 29th.

Coach DiBernardi to Retire After 2018 Softball Season

Coach teaches her players

Softball Head Coach Maria DiBernardi, the winningest coach in the Villanova program’s history, will retire after the 2018 season. DiBernardi will enter her 34th year with an all-time record of 853-734-10. Her dedication to her players on the field and in the classroom has produced 303 Big East Academic All-Stars, 77 All-Big East honorees, four Big East Pitchers of the Year, one Big East Rookie of the Year, 28 All-Region players and 11 CoSida Academic All Americans.

New Mobile App for Nova Nation

User scrolls through the new app on smartphone

Villanova Athletics launched a new mobile app that gives fans access to sweepstakes and other exclusive content, in addition to containing the scores, schedules and stats available on the official website of the Wildcats. Powered by Hopscotch and integrated with the redesigned hosted by CBSi Advanced Media, the app can be downloaded from the App Store and Google Play.


As it continued its celebration of its 175th anniversary, Villanova welcomed family, friends and loved ones to campus for 2017 Commencement Weekend, May 19–20. At college convocations, joy-filled receptions and inspiring ceremonies, the University saluted the 3,180 bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral students who earned diplomas in the past academic year and are now among the University’s 123,000-plus alumni worldwide.

Father Peter serves Mass
University President the Rev. Peter M. Donohue, OSA, PhD, ’75 CLAS presided at the Baccalaureate Mass on the Campus Green.
Simeon S. Poles speaks at graduation
Selected by his classmates, speaker Simeon S. Poles, who received his Juris Doctor, gave an alternately poignant, humorous and rousing speech at the Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law’s Commencement.
Mary Snyder speaks at graduation
Student speaker Mary Snyder, a Nursing major, expressed her gratitude for Villanova’s 175-year tradition of instilling the Augustinian principles of Veritas, Unitas and Caritas into its community.

* NewsVMagFall2017Final1.pdf
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