CLAS Graduate Studies Announces Promotions, New Hires as Office Evolves and Expands
CLAS Graduate Studies Staff (from left) Corie Alicia, Juan Cruz, Morgan Haller, Emory Woodard, Suzanne Tobin, Tommy Kennedy, Brooke Erdman, Jim Mack, Maria Conway, Dana D'Alleva-Albini, Bria Sproul and Ashley Leamon
VILLANOVA, Pa. – The Office of Graduate Studies in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences is pleased to announce a number of promotions and staff updates, as the office has expanded to take on new responsibilities and offer additional services. Learn more about the office and meet the team!
Promotions and New Hires
Dana D’Alleva-Albini joined the staff in June 2021 as Executive Administrative Assistant to Dean Emory Woodard, PhD. In her role, she provides senior-level administrative support to the dean in a number of areas including external and internal communications, financial and budget support, as well as event planning and execution. D’Alleva-Albini worked in the Villanova Payroll Office and Facilities Management Office before joining Graduate Studies. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Sociology from Villanova in 1996. The executive administrative assistant position was previously held by Linda Buonanno, who retired in April 2021.
Ashley Leamon was promoted to Director of Graduate Studies in August 2022. Leamon most recently served as associate director for enrollment and operations in the Office of Graduate Studies. She first served as program coordinator with the Department of Theatre and Studio Art before joining Graduate Studies as assistant director for admissions in 2017 and then assistant director for technology and operations in 2019. Leamon earned her MA in Theatre from Villanova in 2013. She has been a member of University Staff Council since 2017, serving as chair since 2021. She is currently enrolled in the Villanova Master of Arts in Education with Concentration in Higher Education program. Leamon steps into the role recently vacated by Emily McCloskey ’12 MA, ’17 MPA, who now serves as Director of Graduate Education in Villanova’s new Center for Graduate Research and Education.
Tommy Kennedy was promoted to Assistant Director, Technology and Operations in October 2022. Kennedy is responsible for managing Slate and other systems technology, as well as admissions reporting. He joined the Graduate Studies Office in January 2022 as an assistant director of admissions. He earned his Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting & Management Information Systems from Villanova in 2020 and is currently enrolled in the Villanova Master of Arts in Education with Concentration in Higher Education program.
Maria Conway was promoted to Administrative Assistant II in October 2022. Conway first joined the Graduate Studies Office as administrative assistant in 2019, after serving as an administrative assistant with the Department of Communication for 14 years. In her role, Conway manages the front desk of the office and assists with admissions-related tasks such as responding to email messages and phone calls, as well as processing admission documents and interfacing with multiple admissions-related databases.
Admissions and Recruitment
Juan Cruz was promoted to Associate Director, Admissions and Recruitment in February 2022, after being hired as assistant director in December 2021. Cruz is responsible for all admissions and recruitment activities for graduate programs in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, including planning and executing Slate email campaigns, virtual and in-person recruitment events such as information sessions and graduate fairs, as well as managing a staff of assistant directors of admissions for flex programs. Cruz replaced Fatima Rezaei ’19 MPA, who left Villanova to rejoin her family and work in college admissions in Sweden.
Admissions and Recruitment – Flex Programs
In January 2022, the Office of Graduate Studies expanded to oversee marketing, admissions and administration for its programs that offered fully online courses, Human Resource Development and Public Administration. These programs previously contracted with a third party to support their online options. Now, along with Classical Studies, these programs have become multi-modal programs, meaning that students can “flex” between modalities and will no longer be restricted to taking campus-only or online-only courses. Students are able to register for any course, regardless of modality, in each academic term. Three assistant directors, who joined Graduate Studies in January 2022, now work in admissions and recruitment for these flex programs.
Corie Alicea, Assistant Director of Admissions, joined CLAS Graduate Studies after serving in various roles around the University for nine years. She served most recently in the College of Professional Studies as program coordinator for professional education. Alicea is currently pursuing a Villanova Master of Public Administration degree.
Morgan Haller, Assistant Director of Admissions, is a current student in the Villanova Master of Arts in History program and most recently worked in admissions at Immaculata University before joining CLAS Graduate Studies.
Bria Sproul, Assistant Director of Admissions, joined the CLAS Graduate Studies staff after serving in admissions at Lincoln University. She has a Master of Science in Education Policy & Student Affairs from West Chester University.
Brooke Erdman was promoted to Associate Director of Student Services in October 2022. Erdman manages student-related processes such as the creation of new student records through graduation and is the point person for all administrative questions regarding current students. She earned a Master of Arts in Liberal Studies from Villanova in 2016 and served as graduate program coordinator in the Villanova Department of English before joining CLAS Graduate Studies as student services coordinator in 2019.
Suzanne Tobin is now Senior Enrollment Coordinator for CLAS Graduate Studies. Tobin assists with applicant correspondence and application materials processing, as well as international student admissions and graduate assistantship and tuition scholarship awards. She has worked in the Office of Graduate Studies for more than 20 years.
About Villanova University’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences: Since its founding in 1842, Villanova University’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences has cultivated knowledge, understanding and intellectual courage for a purposeful life in a challenged and changing world. With 39 majors across the humanities, social sciences and natural sciences, it is the oldest and largest of Villanova’s colleges, serving more than 4,500 undergraduate and graduate students each year. The College is committed to a teacher-scholar model, offering outstanding undergraduate and graduate research opportunities and a rigorous core curriculum that prepares students to become critical thinkers, strong communicators and ethical leaders with a truly global perspective.