Student and professor walking outside

Through the Faculty Mentors Program, Honors students have early opportunities to explore the various specialties within their disciplines, with increased prospects of developing their interests earlier and more systematically.

More than 100 faculty members from across the University volunteer their time to serve as resources for Honors students who may be exploring a wide range of undergraduate and post-baccalaureate possibilities.



Students can benefit from early discussions with faculty from a variety of disciplines as they begin thinking about possible majors in their first and second years. Faculty mentors can also help students make more informed choices about undergraduate research, internships and Honors Senior Thesis projects.

Through mentorship, students can learn about such opportunities as publishing in undergraduate journals, presenting at conferences appropriate to students' academic interests, and applying for national fellowships like the Truman, Goldwater, Rhodes and Fulbright.

Become a Faculty Mentor

One of the hallmarks of the Honors experience is our students' ability to engage in independent research with valued mentors. By adding your name and area of expertise to this directory, Honors students will know that you are willing to work with them on such things as independent studies and Honors Theses.  

Please email the Honors Program if you would like to be included in this directory or to update your information.

Faculty Mentors by Discipline

Our faculty mentors extend a cordial invitation to meet with students to begin conversations that can help guide their active pursuit of a rewarding education.

Timothy McCall, PhD

University of Michigan, 2005
Associate Professor of Art History
Office: SAC 445
Phone: 610-519-3897

Andrej Prsa, PhD

University of Ljubljana, Slovenia, 2005
Assistant Professor of Astrophysics and Planetary Sciences
Office: MEN 458c
Phone: 610-519-4822


Mentor information forthcoming.

Robert Beck, PhD

University of Pennsylvania, 1969
Professor of Computing Sciences
Office: MEN 161A
Phone: 610-519-7307

Dr. Beck is interested in human-computer interaction and techniques and metrics for evaluating user interfaces. Some of his students have investigated strategies for evaluating Web pages viewed as user interfaces to information and designs for the interface to perfect smart phone. He is also interested in symbolic computation and algorithms for operations research. His library of computer programs contains routines that use symbolic methods to investigate the structure of Lie algebras and to classify low-dimensional algebras. Recently he is collaborating on research involving mathematical modeling and simulation in biology. Among other questions are those dealing with the efficiency of packing eggs in a body cavity. Professionally he represents the computer science education community in the Pedagogies of Engagement effort of AAC&U and on the curriculum design team for computational science. He also is a mentor for program evaluators for the Computer Science Accreditation Commission of ABET. He teaches courses in human-computer interaction, the organization of programming languages, and an innovative course that combines computing and music called The Laptop Instrument. He is the co-author of the advanced undergraduate text Elementary Linear Programming and co-editor of the collection Lie Algebras: Applications and Computational Methods.

Thomas Way, PhD

University of Delaware, 2002
Associate Professor of Computing Sciences
Office: MEN 160A
Phone: 610-519-8339

Dr. Way is interested in the science of Parsing in all its many forms. His students have investigated automated natural language parts-of-speech analysis, machine translation, sentiment analysis, plagiarism detection, compilation of computer languages, nanocompilers, machine learning, text message-based conversational agents, critical thinking and linguistic analysis, and tremor filtering. He is also interested in uses of computing to assist people with disabilities, and his research in that area has including conversion of visual images into tactile images and the use of Google Glass devices to compensate for memory disabilities. He collaborates on research in the areas of computer science education and machine learning, and is developing learning modules that teachers and students in just about any discipline could use to explore how machine learning is used in their own areas of study. He teaches a Mendel Science Experience course on Computer Evolution and Learning for non-majors, while for majors he teaches courses on Computer Systems, Machine Translation and Software Engineering, among many others. Dr. Way has authored or co-authored over 60 research papers and participated as PI or Co-PI on over $5 million in research grants and contracts. His internationally known website DHMO.org that reports on the alarming dangers of the deadly chemical Dihydrogen Monoxide is widely used by educators to teach critical thinking and Internet literacy skills. Dr. Way is also a professional magician and prior to his academic career was a writer and producer of television programs in Hollywood and a morning radio personality in Los Angeles, Syracuse and Washington, D.C. He owns his own straitjacket.

Mentor information forthcoming.

Lisa J. Rodrigues, PhD

University of Pennsylvania, 2005
Assistant Professor of Geography and the Environment
Office: Mendel G67H
Phone: 610-519-7534

Research & Professional Interests: Dr. Rodrigues studies the impacts of a changing climate on coral reef and marine ecosystems.  In particular, she is interested in understanding the physiological effects of coral bleaching and coral disease to better predict future changes to reef ecosystems.  Her research often involves intensive laboratory and field components.  Dr. Rodrigues teaches courses in environmental science and is a member of the President’s Environmental Sustainability Committee.  As such, she is also interested in working with students on projects related to Villanova’s campus and environmental sustainability.

Masako Hamada, EdD

Columbia University/Teachers College, 2002
Associate Professor of Japanese Studies
Institute for Global Interdisciplinary Studies
Office: Garey Hall #34B
Phone: 610-519-4701

Dr. Hamada’s professional interests include Japanese Culture and Civilization including popular culture: anime, manga; Second Language Acquisition; Intercultural Communication and Conflict Resolution; and Women’s Studies.  

Her research efforts have centered on Intercultural Communication, Second Language Acquisition, and Popular Culture and Women’s Issues in Japan.

She teaches courses in Advanced Japanese language courses, Japanese Popular Culture (Anime), Japanese Culture & Civilization and Japanese Culinary Culture, etc.

Maghan Keita, PhD

Howard University, 1988
Associate Professor of History
Director, Global Interdisciplinary Studies
Office: Garey 36
Phone: 610-519-6964

Dr. Keita has degrees in East Asian History and Chinese Language (B.A.), American History (M.A.) and African Studies (Ph.D.). Dr. Keita’s main areas of teaching and research center on African political, economic and intellectual history; issues of race, class and gender; historiography; epistemology; and cultural criticism. Dr. Keita did field research in Senegal on the political economy of health care while serving as visiting lecturer and researcher with the United Nations Institute for Economic Development and Planning, and as visiting editor for the Council on the Development of Economic and Social Science Research in Africa journal, Africa Development. Dr. Keita spent considerable time in the practical application of his African Studies background during his tenure as associate director of the Washington Office on Africa, associate director of the Africa Desk of the American Friends Service Committee, and associate secretary for Africa for the National Council of Churches, USA. He has published a manuscript with Oxford University entitled “Riddling the Sphinx: Race, the Writing of History, and America’s Culture Wars.” That work is to be followed by a book-length manuscript entitled Return of the Black Knight: the African in Arthurian Lore. He currently serves as co-editor of the Journal of Asian and African Studies.

Gerard F. Jones, PhD

University of Pennsylvania, 1981
Chair and Professor of Mechanical Engineering
Office: TOL 131
Phone: 610-519-4985

Christine Kelleher Palus, PhD

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2004
Associate Professor of Public Administration
Office: SAC 265
Phone: 610-519-8901

Brian Jones, PhD

University of Pennsylvania, 1979
Professor of Sociology
Office: SAC 276
Phone: 610-519-4784

Mentor information forthcoming.

Villanova University
Garey Hall 106
800 Lancaster Ave.
Villanova, PA 19085