Each year, the Department of Astrophysics and Planetary Science offers awards to outstanding Astronomy and Astrophysics students.



The Medallions of Excellence are conferred each year by the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences to graduating seniors who have excelled in their major course of study during their undergraduate years at Villanova. The Medallion of Excellence for a major in Astronomy and Astrophysics is named after the Augustinian friar Edward Felix Jenkins, OSA (1906-1991), who founded the Department of Astrophysics and Planetary Science.

Father Jenkins was ordained a priest of the Order of Saint Augustine in June 1931. He became an instructor in chemistry at Villanova University in 1935, while completing his doctoral work in chemistry. He received his doctorate in 1939. Following a lifelong passion for astronomy, Father Jenkins learned the art of lens grinding and telescope construction from close friend Edwin F. Bailey of the Franklin Institute of Philadelphia. The two constructed a telescope which was mounted in a make-shift observatory (a converted grain silo!) on top of Tolentine Hall. Due to Father Jenkins’ influence, the new Mendel Science Center, completed in 1961, was equipped with both a planetarium and an observatory and the University instituted a degree program in astronomy. Father Jenkins served as chair of the Department until 1974 and continued as an active member of the Department until shortly before his death in 1991.

2019 Joseph M. Michail
2018 Liam Jones
2017 Marcus Katynski
2016 John Ruby
2015 Anna Marion
2014 Eduard Bachmakov
2013 Allyn Durbin
2012 Janine Myzska
2011 Jared W. Coughlin
2009 Heather A. Stewart
2008 Nicholas P. Hollon
2006 Adric Riedel
2004 Joleen K. Miller
2003 Lisa M. Winter
2002 Christopher S. Pilman
1997 Nicholas Morgan
1996 James J. Marshall
1993 Brian Deeney
1991 Keith A. Scollick
1988 Sean M. Carroll
1987 Kevin R. Garlow
1985 Donald Speranzini
1982  James Charles Lochner
1978 Michael J. Acierno
1977 David A. Turnshek
1976 Laura F. Casswell

The Edward F. Jenkins, OSA Scholarship Award is presented annually to an upperclassman in Astronomy and Astrophysics who has demonstrated outstanding academic achievement. The award is named for the founder of the Department of Astrophysics and Planetary Science, the Augustinian friar Father Jenkins.

2020         Tyler Kline
2019          Tyler Kline
2018          Joseph M. Michail
2017          Elizabeth Johnson; Liam Jones
2016          Valerie E. Bernstein; Marcus P. Katynski
2015          Griffin B. Werner
2014          Anna C. Marion
2013          Cole C. Johnston
2012          Allyn J. Durbin
2011          Allyn J. Durbin; Janine A. Myszka
2010         Jared W. Coughlin
2009        Janine A. Myszka; Kyle E. Conroy; Nicole M. Zimmerman
2008        Heather A. Stewart; Ronald-Louis Ballouz
2007        Robert T. Zellem; Ian M. Bozant
2006        Nicholas P. Hollon; Robert T. Zellem
2005        Nicholas P. Hollon; Robert T. Zellem
2004        Ryan A. Hamilton
2003        Jolleen K. Miller; Kelly J. Kolb
2002        Jolleen K. Miller
2001         John J. Bochanski, Jr.; Jolleen K. Miller; Kelly J. Kolb
2000        John J. Bochanski, Jr.; Jeremy Sepinsky; Jeffrey C. Tracy
1999         Colleen K. Henry; John J. Bochanski, Jr.
1998         Paul DiTuro; Colleen K. Henry; Joseph DePasquale
1997         Rahul Mittal; Paul DiTuro
1996         Nicholas D. Morgan
1995         James J. Marshall; Nicholas D. Morgan
1994         James J. Marshall; Brian P. Abbott; Nicholas D. Morgan; Quyen T. Nguyen
1993         James J. Marshall; Brian P. Abbott
1992         Keith A. Miller; Daniel M. Griffith; Marc C. Sugars
1991          Keith A. Scollick;  Keith A. Miller
1990         Keith A. Scollick
1989         Keith A. Scollick
1988         Edwin A. Bergin, Jr.; Matthew L. Fritz
1987         Edwin A. Bergin, Jr.; Matthew L. Fritz
1986         Joseph P. McMullen

The Edwin F. Bailey Scholarship Award is presented annually to a rising sophomore in Astronomy and Astrophysics who has demonstrated outstanding academic achievement in their first year in the major. The award is named for dedicated amateur astronomer Edwin F. Bailey (1907-1986)—telescope builder, astronomy educator, and close friend of Department founder Father Jenkins.

A Philadelphia native, Bailey turned a boyhood love of the nighttime sky into a lifetime of astronomical service and achievement. He was a self-taught lens grinder and telescope builder, and, in 1936, was one of the founding members of the Franklin Institute’s Amateur Telescope Makers section. In 1937 he began a 37-year employment at the Franklin Institute and, in 1958, became the assistant director of its Department of Astronomy. Bailey was also a long-time member of the Rittenhouse Astronomical Society. The Bailey Scholarship Award was established by Bailey’s widow, Eleanor Vadala Bailey, in recognition of his deep ties to Villanova’s astronomy program. He helped instruct close friend Father Jenkins in the art of lens grinding and telescope making, and the two constructed Villanova’s first telescope, mounted in the Tolentine Hall observatory.

2020 Mackenzie Baird; Boran Gorur
2019 Grace E. Chiodo; Thinh H. Nguyen
2018 Tyler R. Kline
2017 Augustus Most
2016 Joseph M. Michail; Keri A. Salanik
2015 Elizabeth A. Johnson
2014 Eric N. Aldieri; Valerie E. Bernstein; Griffin B. Werner
2013 John J. Ruby, IV
2012 William E. Watson; Scott L. Michener
2011 Anna C. Marion; Cole C. Johnston
2010 Allyn J. Durbin
2009 Janine A. Myszka
2008 Ronald-Louis Ballouz
2007 Ian Bozant
2006 Heather Stewart; Stephen Perno
2004 Jennifer M. Carlton; Nicholas P. Hollom; Robert T. Zellem
2003 Sean M. Foran
2002 Sarah L. Lakotas; John T. Marcy; Adric R. Reidel
2001 Ryan T. Hamilton
2000 Jolleen K. Miller; Kelly J. Kolb
1999 Jeffrey C. Tracey; Joel Urban
1998 Derek R. Caputo; Benjamin T. Conroy; John J. Bochanski, Jr.
1997 Colleen K. Henry; Michael E. Stump

The Loring and Beulah Baker, and John and Gertrude Maloney Mission Prize is presented annually to a graduating senior in Astronomy and Astrophysics, who has demonstrated outstanding mission-centered accomplishments. The prize celebrates the lives of the Baker and Maloney parents, whose guidance enabled those around them to see the path to excellence, humility and compassion.

A candidate may apply personally or a be nominated by any member of the departmental faculty for the award. Working closely with the faculty, the Maloney family makes the final decision on the awardee.

2019 Briana Dalton

The Jason A. Cardelli Memorial Award for Undergraduate Research is presented to a graduating Astronomy and Astrophysics student whose body of undergraduate research exhibits particularly high standards of independence, originality and quality. The award is named for former Departmental faculty member Jason A. Cardelli, PhD (1955-1996).

Dr. Cardelli was a faculty member in the Department of Astrophysics and Planetary Science from January 1995 until his sudden death in May 1996. As an astronomer, Jason specialized in studies of the interstellar medium, including measurements of the gas-phase composition of interstellar “clouds” and the optical properties of solid-phase dust particles in interstellar space—both lending insight into the chemical evolution of the Milky Way galaxy. Dr. Cardelli loved doing astronomical research. He was original, creative, energetic and thorough in his work. As a person, Dr.  Cardelli was warm, witty, and open. He had an opinion about everything and was always happy to share and debate those opinions. His friends, both within the Department and elsewhere, still remember him vividly. The Cardelli Memorial Award was created to honor Dr. Cardelli, keeping his memories alive sharing the them with those not fortunate enough to have known him.

2020 Kathlyn Purcell
2019 Giannina Guzman; Joseph Michail
2018 Elizabeth A. Johnson
2017 Valerie Bernstein; Marcus Katynski
2016 ohn J. Ruby IV
2015 Savannah R. Jacklin
2014 Cole C. Johnston
2013 Alexandra Bisol; Allyn J. Durbin
2011 Ronald-Louis Ballouz
2008 Nicholas P. Hollom; Robert T. Zellem
2005 Ryan A. Hamilton
2004 Joel A. Urban
2003 Lisa M. Winter
2002 John J. Bochanski, Jr.; Jeremy F. Sepinsky
2001 Joseph M. dePasquale
1998 Steven Margheim
1997 Dirk M. Fabian

Chair: Edward L. Fitzpatrick, Ph.D.
Dept. of Astrophysics & Planetary Science
Villanova University
Mendel Hall, Rm. 458A
800 Lancaster Avenue
Villanova, PA 19085