The John T. McLaughlin, M.D., Undergraduate Fellowships in Ethics

A gift from John T. McLaughlin, M.D., a 1937 graduate of the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences at Villanova University, makes possible two undergraduate fellowships each year. These fellows will create space for ethics discussions on campus by a variety of creative and innovative means. Fellowships are awarded late in the spring semester each year. The fellowship runs for the duration of the fiscal year after the award (June 1 through the following academic year). All fellowship activities will take place during this time.

2023 Undergraduate Fellows:

Colin Gilligan:  Colin's project is designed to educate the Villanova community about the social and moral costs of mass incarceration and to expose students to the mental and physical health challenges current and former incarcerated individuals face through a pen pal program and collection drive for personal health and hygiene products.

Michael Blake:  Michael's project seeks to explore the current guidelines regarding the use of vertebraets in research imposed by the Insititutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) at Villanova University, while simultaneously gauging students and faculty members opinions regarding the use of vertebrates in research.

Chloe Abo:  Chloe's project aims to reclaim and redefine what intrinsic flourishing means for Asian American students at Villanova.  Through a series of workshops, our community will critically examine society’s perception of self-worth and success as a challenge to the model minority stereotype, and these workshops will prepare a student-based art project to provide the diverse cultural realities that Asian American students experience at Villanova. With a focus on the process of strengthening the community, my project seeks to embrace diversity to view human dignity through a lens of compassion instead of presupposition.

Details regarding the Fellowships and application instructions can be found in Current Student Resources.

For more information please email:


Meghan McCarthy:  Disparities within Maternal Care for Pregnant Women with Disabilities

Morgan Torre:  Representation of Disability in Film


Esmerelda Zere:  Justice for Victims of Commercial Sexual Exploitation

Anna Monaco:  Lack of Access to Dental Care for Individuals with Disabilities


Association for Practical and Professional Ethics Intercollegiate Ethics Bowl®

Since 2000, the Villanova Ethics Program sponsors a team consisting of five undergraduate students to prepare, travel, and compete in the Association for Practical and Professional Ethics Intercollegiate Ethics Bowl®. This event has regional and national competitions featuring the examination of ethics cases often pulled from the news headlines. It is not a debate, where each side takes opposing views. The goal of the APPE IEB® is to advance the capacity of students to examine difficult moral issues constructively and respectfully. The national competition, which draws together the top 36 teams from the regional rounds, is held in conjunction with the annual meeting of the Association for Practical and Professional Ethics.

Our teams often do very well in these competitions—often making it to the final rounds in the national competition. Students interested in joining a team should send their name, year, major (or possible major), along with a statement of interest by email, to Mark Wilson, PhD. Applicants are encouraged to include information about their coursework and background in ethics, along with any questions about the Ethics Bowl team that they may have.


College and University Resources

In addition to resources and opportunities through the Ethics Program, Villanova provides support to undergraduate students in all aspects of their collegiate experience and beyond through the centralized services of the Office for Undergraduate StudentsOffice of Education Abroad and Career Center.

Villanova University, SAC Room 205
800 Lancaster Avenue
Villanova, PA 19085

Director: Mark Doorley
Assoc. Director: Brett Wilmot
Admin. Asst.: Peggy Elder