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, Brazda worked for Goldman Sachs in New York as a senior analyst in the Global Markets Division. After two years in the New York office, she 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, Brazda 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, Brazda 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. Brazda 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, Goldfield 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, Goldfield 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, Goldfield 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. Heuser 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, Heuser 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, Andino 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, Andino 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, Andino 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, Andino was the recipient of the PA Hispanic Bar Association Award and is the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Research Assistant. 

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, Joshi spent five years working at the Mayo Clinic in research. As a researcher, he has authored over 15 peer-reviewed scientific publications with a primary focus on therapeutic strategies in urological cancers. In addition, Joshi 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, Joshi 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, Martinez 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, Martinez received two Guidehouse Energy Summit Awards, the “Highly Collaborative Award” and the “Quality Obsessed Award”. Shealso 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, Martinez  received DMR’s “Above and Beyond Award” and in 2020, received DMR’s “Go-To Award”. While an undergraduate student at Penn, Martinez 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, Martinez 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.

Marina Campo is an alumna of Ursinus College, where she earned a BA with double majors in international relations and business/economics. At Ursinus, she was secretary of UCEA Environmental Action Club, a volunteer for St. Christopher’s Children Hospital and studied abroad in Firenze, Italy. Campo also earned a Master of Business Administration from Rowan University in New Jersey. After earning her bachelor’s degree, Campo worked at TD Bank in a variety of roles in retail banking as a customer service representative, an executive assistant with loan operations and as a project specialist with the Credit Card Operations/Governance Team. Campo has also worked for Turnberry Solutions/AmeriHealth Administrators in Philadelphia as a business analyst/project consultant for client implementation, where she conducted analysis and data mining for business migration and client implementations, facilitated account setup, served as a SME and assisted in training for new team members. Before starting law school, Campo was employed by Santander Consumer in Dallas as an associate vendor manager for partner relations. In this role she was responsible for performing risk assessments, assisting with contract execution and conducting SLA and performance monitoring for Santander vendors.

Michael Lambert comes to the Villanova Law from Washington, DC, where he worked across a variety of political, public policy, and non-profit areas. Most recently, Lambert worked for Americans for Prosperity as a federal and state policy analyst. In that role, he developed several policy issue initiatives, including public infrastructure financing, export-import bank reform and agriculture spending. He also represented AFP before members of Congress and staff, executive branch agencies and policy coalitions. Prior to that, Lambert served as a legislative aide for the office of Congressman Ed Whitfield in the United States House of Representatives and interned in the offices of Senator Mitch McConnell and Congressman Steve Scalise. Additionally, he has assisted a number of House and Senate election campaigns. Originally from Louisville, KY, Lambert received his Bachelor of Music Performance from the University of Louisville and his Master of Professional Studies in political management from The George Washington University.

Samantha Thompson received her Bachelor of Science Degree in marketing: public relations & advertising from Stephens College and received her Master of Business Administration from the University of Missouri- Kansas City. She is currently the manager of business operations & chief of staff to the vice-president at Lumen Technologies where she has worked since August 2022. In this role, Thompson has an operational and strategic position supporting the customer success marketing team including chief of staff responsibilities for VP, customer success marketing & data intelligence and cross-functional work to support a range of initiatives across the organization. She has also worked at Lumen Technologies as the lead marketing manager, where she was responsible for leading small business strategy & go-to-market planning for new and complex products across all of Lumen’s brands. This included the execution of various trials, in collaboration with agency partners. Thompson has also had stints with Global Prairie as a senior associate for insight and strategy as well as project manager, fellow and growth strategy at Barkley in Kansas City, MO. Thompson's current volunteer activity includes participating as a CASA volunteer of Cook County and deputy registrar with Chicago Votes.