Established by Barbara and Charles Widger '73, this three-year, full-tuition scholarship is awarded each year to a select group of students who have demonstrated strong leadership potential and an interest in making an impact in both law and business. Recipients must demonstrate qualities indicative of leadership and have been shown to possess the basic quantitative skills necessary for a successful business lawyer. Qualified admitted applicants will be invited to Villanova Law, in mid-March, for a special daylong leadership summit and selection interview. To be considered, applicants must apply and be admitted to Villanova Law no later than February 15.

In addition to the scholarship, Widger Leadership Scholars will receive personal mentoring from Mr. Widger, assistance from the School of Law’s Widger Advisory Board in seeking a strategic and meaningful 1L externship, and leadership development coaching, among other benefits.

Mr. Widger is the founder and executive chairman of Brinker Capital, an investment management firm located in Berwyn, Pennsylvania, and is a member and past chair of the Law School’s Board of Consultors. In January 2016, he made a transformative $25 million gift to Villanova Law, the largest ever to the Law School and the second largest in the University’s history. In recognition, the Law School is now named the Charles Widger School of Law.

Current Widger Leadership Scholars

Scott Kingsbury is an alumnus of Temple University’s Fox School of Business, where he graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Business Administration concentrated in finance in the spring of 2018. As a student, he co-founded the Blockchain Technology & Cryptocurrency Club and was selected as a lead analyst for the William C. Dunkelberg Owl Fund, a student-managed equity investment fund managing a portion of Temple University’s endowment fund. During his senior year, he was selected for the Dean’s Student Advisory Board for the Fox School of Business, where he presented ideas on how to improve textbook affordability for financially disadvantaged students. Prior to law school, Scott worked as a corporate banking analyst for TD Bank, where he underwrote revolving credit facilities, term loans and other bank debt products for a wide range of corporations and institutions.  Scott’s responsibilities at TD also included portfolio management activities for the bank’s credit portfolio comprising over $40 billion of committed capital.

Allie Romano is an alumna of the University of Maryland – College Park, where she earned her Bachelor of Science in Finance and Operations Management Business Analytics in the Spring of 2018. At Maryland, she worked as a legal secretary for a small firm, served as the vice president of operations for her sorority, and co-founded the Business Summer Scholars Program, a mentoring program for fifty high school students to expose them to careers in business. Prior to law school, she was a commodities trading analyst for Morgan Stanley in New York City, where she drafted compliance policies related to CFTC regulations and the Dodd-Frank Act. During her time as an analyst, she volunteered with The City Tutors as a literacy tutor, helping young adults prepare for the high school equivalency test. Since joining the Villanova Law community, Allie has earned a position on the Moot Court Board and completed a summer externship with the Honorable Charles D. Wood in the 9th District of the New York Supreme Court. She also joined the Troutman Pepper Berwyn office as a Law and Entrepreneur extern for Fall 2021. 

Liz Vista is an alumna of the University of Notre Dame, where she graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science in the spring of 2017. At Notre Dame, she was a member of the Women’s Boxing Club and the Society of Women Engineers. Prior to law school, she completed a software development internship with Clarity Consulting and went on to work in the technology consulting industry. From 2017 to 2018, she worked as an associate technology consultant at Perficient, Inc. where she developed mobile applications for clients in various industries. From 2018 to 2020, she worked as a consultant at Pariveda Solutions where she was responsible for developing web and mobile applications and served as an application designer for a pro-bono project with a local non-profit partner. In the past, she has served as a mentor for Notre Dame Vision, a faith-based conference for high school students.

Keane C. Brazda is an alumna of Bucknell University, where she graduated in 2017 with a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and was a Division I volleyball player. After earning her degree, Keane worked for Goldman Sachs in New York as a senior analyst in the Global Markets Division. After two years in the New York office, Keane moved to the Singapore office where she played a lead role in forming a new team to support the Interest Rate Derivatives ("IRD") business across the Asia Pacific region. In this role, Keane managed the daily operational risk of the IRD business in Asia and managed client relationships for the IRD Securities business across the globe. She led a cross-divisional project to build the internal infrastructure necessary to enable a new line of business in Korea. Most recently, Keane worked for the law firm of Fisher, Tousey, Leas & Ball, where she conducted research and wrote analysis for clients about the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act. Keane is an avid runner having completed six marathons and most recently a 50-mile ultramarathon.

Dan Goldfield received his dual Bachelor of Arts in Legal Studies and Political Science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2017, where he was a member of the Honors College. He also received certificates (minors) in Criminal Justice and Integrated Liberal Studies. While in school, Dan was the Chief Justice of the Inter-Fraternity Council, a student leader on the Chancellor’s Greek Life Sexual Assault and Gender-Based Violence Task Force, and worked on the Senate campaigns for Russ Feingold (Wisconsin) and Katie McGinty (Pennsylvania) in 2016. After graduating Dan was a research and digital associate with the Senate Majority PAC, where he led research efforts across key Senate battleground states in the 2018 cycle, supporting ad and poll creation, reviewing legislative voting records, and tracking spending for campaigns and other outside organizations. Before coming to Villanova, Dan worked as the sales project manager at Ichor Strategies in Washington, DC, a community centric consulting firm based in Brooklyn that helps businesses authentically engage urban communities. In this role, he created and managed new business development opportunities, directed outreach to hundreds of Fortune 500 companies, and collaborated with senior leadership on growth strategy. He formerly served as a research and client engagement associate at Ichor, supporting multiple Fortune 50 companies in urban cities throughout the east coast. 

Audrey Heuser is an alumna of the University of Oklahoma, where she graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering in the spring of 2021. At the University of Oklahoma, she served as the President of Alpha Sigma Kappa - Women in Technical Studies, was a Dean’s Leadership Council mentor, and was appointed by the Dean to serve as an Academic Appeals Board member, where she judged grade appeal hearings. She was also involved with the Student Government Association on campus and studied abroad at Oxford University. Audrey interned for Ascend Performance Materials in Texas, where she promoted and practiced hazard recognition and safety in the workplace, as well as interfaced with various companies to purchase spectral technology to save $90,000/year on excess materials. She was awarded the Knight of St. Pat award in 2021 for her dedication and leadership to her engineering peers and was awarded first place for her capstone project, where she helped develop a recycling process for electric vehicle batteries. In her spare time, Audrey serves as a leadership consultant to numerous chapters in her sorority. 

Ashley Andino is an alumna of the University of Connecticut , where she graduated in 2020 with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and a double minor in crime and justice and human studies. As an undergraduate student, Ashley was the co-founder of the Student Government Cultural Awareness Sub-Committee, president of Sigma Lambda Upsilon (a Latina-based sorority), president of UConn’s Law Society, and a legal/political Global Health Research Assistant. After earning her degree, Ashley worked as a business analyst and a contract negotiator with Lockheed Martin Aerospace and Defense Corporation, the number one global defense contractor. As a business analyst, she was charged with managing relationships with key customers/suppliers and provided solutions to business challenges as a subject matter expert. As a contract negotiator, Ashley managed 20+ multi-million-dollar military contracts through executing all aspects of contract lifecycle. She was the youngest negotiator on her team and charged with negotiating all contractual modifications and financial request for resolution of business matters pertaining to active contract agreements. Most recently, Ashley was the recipient of the PA Hispanic Bar Association Award and is the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Research Assistant. 

Kevin Hernandez is an alumnus of Florida International University, where he graduated with a BA in International Relations in 2014. A proud Floridian and son of Colombian immigrants, Kevin was born in New Jersey and grew up in Tampa, Florida. Before entering law school, Kevin most recently worked as the Policy Director at the LIBRE Initiative. His work focused on advancing liberty and freedom-minded policy solutions at the state and federal levels that break down barriers to opportunity and empower Hispanics to achieve their American Dream. Prior to joining LIBRE in 2017, Kevin worked at the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce as their head of Policy and Government Affairs. He was responsible for shaping and advancing the chamber’s policy agenda in DC to elevate the interests of our country’s 4+ million Hispanic-owned businesses. His work primarily focused on access to capital, energy, taxes, trade, and workforce development. Kevin is a U.S. Fellow with the British-American Project and serves on the NextGen Chamber of Commerce’s advisory council. 

Vidhu B. Joshi is an alumnus of both the University of Western Ontario, where he graduated in 2017 with a Bachelor of Science in Genetics, and Mayo Clinic Graduate School, from which he graduated in 2022 with a Master of Science in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. Before beginning law school at Villanova, Vidhu spent five years working at the Mayo Clinic in research. As a researcher, Vidhu has authored over 15 peer-reviewed scientific publications with a primary focus on therapeutic strategies in urological cancers. In addition, Vidhu is a Certified Clinical Research Professional (CCRP) and has used his expertise in clinical research and regulatory affairs to coordinate over 20 research studies and clinical trials by working directly with patients and providers. He later served as a research program coordinator supporting a multi-million-dollar research program in biomedical engineering that focused on artificial intelligence and biomedical imaging. Passionate about mentorship and innovation in all areas of STEM, Vidhu volunteers as the Managing Editor of the STEM Fellowship Journal wherein young researchers can publish their research in a peer-reviewed academic journal as well as seek mentorship through the several enrichment programs offered by STEM Fellowship, the largest student-run volunteer STEM organization in Canada.

Amanda Martinez is an alumna of the University of Pennsylvania – The Wharton School of Business, where she earned her Bachelor of Science in Economics in 2017. Before law school, Amanda was a Managing Consultant at Guidehouse Inc based in Washington DC, where she delivered data management, data analytics, and emerging technology solutions to a large public utility client. She served as the technical lead for a financial portfolio & optimization data analytics project and delivered many winning business development efforts. In 2021, Amanda received two Guidehouse Energy Summit Awards, the “Highly Collaborative Award” and the “Quality Obsessed Award”. Amanda also worked as a Data Migration Consultant at a boutique technical consulting firm, Data Migration Resources Inc. (DMR), where she traveled to the client site weekly to deliver technical data solutions focused on large-scale SAP implementations. Clients included retail companies such as Costco Wholesale Corporation, ALDO Group, Tapestry Inc, and Wakefern Food Corporation. In 2019, Amanda received DMR’s “Above and Beyond Award” and in 2020, received DMR’s “Go-To Award”. While an undergraduate student at Penn, Amanda was also a data analyst intern at Under Armour Global Headquarters where she supported master data management and data quality activities, and a program analyst intern for Lockheed Martin, where she supported the Program Manager for the Centers for Medicare Medicaid Services (CMS) contract while providing customer service support to CMS employees. On campus, Amanda was an Office Coordinator Assistant in the Pan Asian-American Community House, a Student Ceramist, and Chair for the Pan Asian-American Community House ASPIRE (Asian Students Promoting Identify Race & Education) Program.