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

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. 

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.

William “Zack” Mineo is an alumnus of Rutgers University, where he graduated magna cum laude and obtained his Bachelor of Science in Accounting in the spring of 2013 and his Master of Business Administration in the fall of 2016. Prior to law school, he worked as a lead risk management consultant at Dixon Hughes Goodman LLP, where he was responsible for leading client projects to identify and evaluate financial and technological risk exposure. Prior to this position, Zack served as an audit and assurance senior for Deloitte & Touche LLP, planning, supervising, and performing integrated and financial statement audits of financial services and commercial Fortune 500 companies. In 2017, he worked as the acting country manager for Marine Megafauna Foundation, where he designed, implemented and operated an accounting system over the course of a six-month period. Zack is also a former healthcare specialist for the New Jersey Army National Guard, and during his tenure, he earned the Army Commendation Medal.

Jenna L. Schaffer is an alumna of Temple University’s Fox School of Business, where she graduated magna cum laude in 2014 with a Bachelor of Business Administration in Risk Management and Insurance with a focus in Management Information Systems.  Jenna graduated with both University Honors and Business Honors.  As an undergraduate, she held several leadership positions including Vice President of the International Business Association and Vice President of Finance for the Sigma Chapter of Gamma Iota Sigma.  After earning her degree, Jenna became a licensed Accident, Health, Life, and Fixed Annuities Producer in Pennsylvania and worked in the health insurance industry for over five years.  During that time, Jenna worked as a Senior Underwriting Consultant at Trion, a Health and Benefits Consultant at Aon, and a Life, Accident, and Disability Underwriter at Cigna.  Having worked in different capacities in the employee benefits field, Jenna brought valuable insight when identifying and classifying risk for her clients.  Outside of her client work, Jenna founded an Excel training program for her colleagues titled, Excel for Smarties.  She also participated as an alumni mentor for Temple University’s mentorship program and a project sponsor for the Risk Management and Insurance Case Competition at Temple University.  Since joining the Villanova Law community, Jenna has earned a position on the Villanova Law Review and has been awarded the George Mason University Frédéric Bastiat Fellowship.