The Center for Research and Fellowships (CRF) aims to ignite curiosity, exploration, and discovery through student research programs, the Presidential Scholars Program (PSP), and support for nationally competitive scholarships and fellowships. Through holistic advising and tailored professional development programs, we equip students to become changemakers and transformative leaders.

CRF has connected hundreds of Villanova students, alumni, faculty and staff to programs of research and scholarship around the world since it was established in 2001.



Aligned with our Augustinian Catholic mission and the University's Diversity Statement, CRF strives to create a welcoming environment in all that we do, ensuring that all identities, perspectives and experiences are heard, respected and valued.

Our community suffers when members live in fear of injustice and prejudice. We acknowledge that silence and inaction contribute to the continuation of ongoing structural inequalities. No one should be made to feel discounted or threatened because of their race, ethnicity or any other identity.

The CRF team is taking the following steps to bring to life our commitment to fostering a welcoming community:
  • Professional development
    • Each CRF team member will dedicate time to learn from and engage with materials and activities that will advance our core values, especially our commitments to diversity, equity, and inclusion.
    • The CRF team will follow best practices for advising, including a focus on inclusive advising, in our work with students, alumni, faculty, and staff.

  • Committee composition
    • We will encourage our Presidential Scholarship Selection Committee Chairs to examine their committees and be proactive to reflect Villanova’s diversity commitments.

  • Inclusive hiring
    • We will participate in inclusive hiring training as a team to foreground diversity in our future hires.

  • Inclusive recruitment for opportunities
    • We will continue and expand active recruitment of diverse applicant pools for all the opportunities that we cover (e.g., research, fellowships, and the PSP).




Catherine Stecyk

Center for Research and Fellowships & Presidential Scholars Program
610-519-8766; Email


Chelsea Benincasa

Associate Director
Center for Research and Fellowships & Presidential Scholars Program

610-519-5935; Email


Kelsey Fenner

Assistant Director
610-519-8852; Email

Team Lead for Nationally Competitive Scholarships and Fellowships


Emily Wetzel-Ulrich

Assistant Director
610-519-5647; Email

Team Lead for Undergraduate Research


Gray Kidd, PhD

Assistant Director
610-519-3559; Email

Team Lead for Graduate Research


Kate Vicente

Sr. Administrative Assistant
610-519-6138; Email

Graduate Assistants

Mike Burns
610-519-3353; Email

Matt Callaghan

610-519-3355; Email

Student Workers

Bolu Adesanmi, Senior

Bolu Adesanmi

Hi! I'm Bolu, a Physics major with minors in Studio Art and Math. I'm from the coastal city of Lagos, Nigeria. I'm really excited to help students get involved with research and fellowship opportunities. With help from the CRF team, I've been doing research on campus since the spring of my freshman year, and I did research off campus in the summer after my sophomore year. On campus, I'm also involved with Formula SAE, InterVarsity and Villanova University Tech Crew. I like reading, visiting museums and city hiking and I'm planning to study abroad in Switzerland this spring.

Bilge Koçak, Senior

Bilge Koçak

Hi! I'm Bilge, a junior Computer Science and Statistics double major at Villanova. I am an international student from Istanbul, Turkey. As someone interested in research, I am very excited to help other students apply for research and fellowship opportunities. I was able to do some research as a freshman through the Match Program and publish my research article in the Veritas: Villanova Research Journal. This semester, with the help of the CRF team, I attended the Richard Tapia Conference and represented the Presidential Scholars Program (PSP) at the USPAA Scholar Summit. On campus, I am involved in the International Students Organization and the PSP Executive Board. In my free time, I enjoy visiting archeology museums and making pottery.

Yasmin Lorin Kaygalak, Junior

Yasmin Lorin Kaygalak

Hi! I'm Lorin, a sophomore Computer Science major and Economics and Honors minor. I am an international student from Istanbul, Turkey. This is my first year at the CRF office, and I'm really excited to help students get involved and to be a part of CRF overall. I am very interested in research, as I completed a research project through the Match Program during my first year. On campus, I am on the VISO Exec Board, the PSP Exec Board, as well as an intercultural coordinator and ambassador. I am also involved in Greek Life, AXO, and the Art Club. Fun fact about me, I graduated from the Royal Academy of ABRSM and could have been continuing as a piano teacher in Vienna, but here I am!


Garey Hall 200 (top floor) 
800 Lancaster Avenue
Villanova, PA 19085