Villanova Law Welcomes New Faculty in Fall 2022

Mark C. Alexander, The Arthur J. Kania Dean of the Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law, has appointed new faculty beginning in the 2022-23 academic year. Ana Santos Rutschman, Professor; Brenner Fissell, Associate Professor; Stephen Olsen, Director of the Graduate Tax Program and Associate Professor of Practice; and Thomas Bennett, Visiting Associate Professor, will begin their tenures in the fall semester.

Villanova Law also brings practitioners and scholars to campus each year through the ongoing Visiting Assistant Professor program, providing them guidance and mentorship as they prepare for careers in academia. This year, Villanova Law welcomes four visiting faculty members: Catherine Baylin Duryea, Amanda Rogers, Ben Cavataro and Daniel Friedman.

These individuals bring impressive credentials in both scholarship and practice to the Villanova Law classroom.


Ana Santos Rutschman, Professor of Law, teaches and researches topics related to health law, intellectual property, innovation in the life sciences, and law and technology. A nationally and internationally recognized expert on vaccine law and policy, the regulation of emerging health technologies and access to medicines, she comes to us from Saint Louis University School of Law. 


Brenner M. Fissell, Associate Professor of Law, comes to us from Hofstra University. His research focuses on the political theory of criminal law, especially as it relates to the criminal law of local governments. A secondary research interest is military criminal law; he brings extensive experience in military justice to his role at Villanova Law. 


Stephen Olsen is Faculty Director of the Graduate Tax Program and Associate Professor of Practice. He is a partner at Gawthrop Greenwood, PC and a member of the firm’s Trusts & Estates Department. He is a double alumnus of Villanova Law, where he earned his JD and LLM. 


Thomas Bennett, Visiting Associate Professor, serves as Associate Professor and Wall Family Fellow at the University of Missouri School of Law and the Kinder Institute on Constitutional Democracy. His research focuses on how complex civil litigation strains the relationship between state and federal courts and impacts the separation of powers.


Catherine Baylin Duryea, Visiting Assistant Professor, serves as Assistant Professor of Law at St. John's University. She is a legal historian who researches human rights, international law, and comparative constitutional development with a focus on the Middle East and Central Asia.


Amanda Rogers is a Visiting Assistant Professor of Law and Director of the Caritas Clemency Clinic. Starting Spring 2023, she and her students will represent indigent incarcerated individuals seeking release from prison. Professor Rogers brings extensive experience in criminal litigation and clinical teaching to this role, including her time as a supervising attorney with the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia.  


Benjamin Cavataro, Visiting Assistant Professor of Law, focuses on tort and regulatory law. His work explores the intersection of products liability and administrative law. Before joining Villanova Law, Professor Cavataro was special counsel at Covington & Burling LLP in Washington, D.C.

D.Friedman Headshot

Daniel Friedman, Visiting Assistant Professor, primarily focuses on economics, law, and political legitimacy in early imperial and medieval China. His research also explores the connections between these periods and historical and contemporary American law, particularly criminal law.