FACULTY

michelle-pistone

Professor Michele R. Pistone, Founder and Faculty Director, VIISTA

Professor Pistone is a Professor of Law and directs and teaches the Clinic for Asylum, Refugee and Emigrant Services (CARES) at Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law. She founded the Law School’s in-house Clinical Program in 1999. Through the CARES clinic, Professor Pistone and her students provide free legal services to asylum seekers and represent them in immigration court and before the Department of Homeland Security. Over the last 20 years, she and her students have helped hundreds of asylum seekers and their families gain asylum protection in the United States.

Professor Pistone is a regular speaker. Her research focus on technological innovations in the practice of law and in legal education, asylum and refugee law, immigration law, migration, clinical education, and Catholic social thought.  She co-authored Disrupting Law School: how disruptive innovation is revolutionizing the legal world, a whitepaper for the Christensen Institute as well as many papers on technology, legal education and the practice of law.

She is also co-author of a groundbreaking book entitled, Stepping Out of the Brain Drain: Applying Catholic Social Teaching in a New Era of Migration (Lexington Books 2007).  Professor Pistone has also written numerous articles and book chapters on migration. She is a Fellow at the Center for Migration Studies, an immigration think tank, the co-Associate Editor of the Journal on Migration and Human Security, and serves as an advisor on migration to the Holy See Mission to the United Nations.

Module 1 Design Team

candace-centeno

Candace Centeno
Associate Dean for Academic Affairs
Professor of Law, Director of Duane Morris LLP Legal Writing Program
Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law

lori-corso

Lori Corso
Librarian and Legal Research Instructor
Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law

lynne-hartnett

Lynne Hartnett
Chair, Graduate History, Associate Professor
Villanova University

ed-hastings

Ed Hastings
Assistant Professor, Theology
Villanova University

karyn-hollis

Karyn Hollis
Chair, Department of Cultural Studies, Associate Professor
Villanova University

steve-schultz

Steve Schultz
Writing Specialist
Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law

catherine-wilson

Catherine Wilson
Chair, Department of Public Administration, Associate Professor
Villanova University  

Modules 2 and 3 Design Team

juli-bildhauer

Juli Bildhauer
Senior Director of Legal Training and Teaching Assistance
Kids in Need of Defense (KIND)

kris-clerkin

Kris Clerkin
Managing Partner
Volta Learning

erin-corcoran

Erin Corcoran
Executive Director, Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies and Concurrent Faculty, Keough School of Global Affairs
University of Notre Dame

lori-corso

Lori Corso
Librarian and Legal Research Instructor
Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law

rebecca-feldmann

Rebecca Feldmann
Visiting Assistant Professor
Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law

ayodele-gansallo

Ayodele Gansallo
Co-author, Understanding Immigration Law
HIAS PA and Adjunct Professor University of Pennsylvania School of Law

cathrael-kazin

Cathrael Kazin
Managing Partner
Volta Learning

jc-lore

JC Lore
Author, Modern Trial Advocacy
Professor, Rutgers Law and National Institute of Trial Advocacy

rena-cutlip-mason

Rena Cutlip-Mason
Chief of Programs
Tahirih Justice Center

shannon-mckinnon

Shannon McKinnon
Managing Attorney
Immigrant Justice Corps

michele-pistone

Michele Pistone
Professor of Law, Director, Clinic for Asylum, Refugee and Emigrant Services (CARES)
Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law

shea-rhodes

Shea Rhodes
Institute to Address Commercial Sexual Exploitation
Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law

judge-paul-schmidt

Judge Paul W. Schmidt
Former Chairperson of Board of Immigration Appeals
Retired Immigration Judge

susan-schmidt

Susan Schmidt
Assistant Professor of Social Work and Field Director
Luther College

steve-schultz

Steve Schultz
Writing Specialist
Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law

wendy-wylegala

Wendy Wylegala
Deputy Director for Legal Technical Assistance
Kids in Need of Defense (KIND)

Design Faculty Advisors

mary-gentile

Mary Gentile
Professor of Practice, Darden School of Business, University of Virginia
Creator and Director of Giving Voice to Values

Marcy Gonzalez
Chief Operating Officer and DOJ accredited representative
Latinos Progresando, Chicago

Saulo Padilla
Immigration Education National Program
Mennonite Central Committee

Mary Studziniski
Executive Director
Pennsylvania Immigration Resource Center

Pope Francis recently called on Catholic universities worldwide to contribute to research and teaching about refugees and migrants. As a Catholic and Augustinian institution with a deep and long-standing commitment to community service and founded to educate immigrants, Villanova is answering Pope Francis’ call.

Michele R. Pistone

Professor of Law & Director, Clinic for Asylum, Refugee and Emigrant Services (CARES)
Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law

SUPPORTED BY:

MacArthur Foundation


 

j.m. kaplan fund logo

VIISTA PERSPECTIVES

michele-pistone

“Immigrant advocates model a new way forward to revolutionize the provision of legal services, akin to nurse practitioners in healthcare.”
-Professor Michele Pistone
Founder, VIISTA

adam-vincent

"I want to make a difference in the lives of immigrants but lacked the proper skills. VIISTA addresses a real need and gives me the tools necessary to step up and provide valuable support to immigrants in my community."
-Adam Vincent
VIISTA pilot student

nicole-tan

"I joined VIISTA to deepen my commitment as an immigrant advocate. At the Asylum Seeker Advocacy Project, I have the honor of standing alongside asylum-seeking families seeking the right to protection and safety in the U.S. My day to day work has shown me the huge gaps in access to legal representation across the country and the drastic disparity in outcome, when asylum-seeking families do not have access to an attorney. VIISTA is an innovative model that removes traditional barriers to law school through its’ remote, self-paced classroom model, allowing people like me to gain a comprehensive understanding of immigration law and advocacy. I truly believe VIISTA is the future direction of the immigrant rights movement, to respond to the huge need for legal representation and to give every immigrant family their day in court."
-Nicole Tan
VIISTA Pilot Student

jane-brady

"I believe in an America that welcomes all people, a humanitarian America, an America that demonstrates leadership with integrity and compassion. Our immigration system is broken and I cannot stand on the sidelines while so many people are suffering. VIISTA is giving me the knowledge, skills and experience that will help make me part of a solution."
-Jane Brady
VIISTA Pilot Student

john-kingery

"VIISTA provides the education and tools to turn my concern and passion into effective compassion. Along with the law, you will learn the history, spiritual and truly human aspects of immigration.

VIISTA’s interdisciplinary focus will challenge you to grow as a person, ally and companion. I have gained a deeper appreciation of the legal and human issues facing our immigrant families. Knowledge of the law gives you the tools to be effective, VIISTA’s other components provides you the means to be compassionate."
-John Marshall Kingery
VIISTA Pilot Student