Nova-Worthy | Villanova Magazine | Villanova University



Headshot of Christine Kelleher Palus, dean of Villanova’s College of Professional Studies.

New Dean for College of Professional Studies

Christine Kelleher Palus, PhD, has been named dean of the College of Professional Studies, which was created in 2014 to enhance the University’s longstanding tradition 48.1 of service to adult learners. She will also continue to serve as dean of Graduate Studies in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, a position she has held since 2015. Dr. Palus, an associate professor of Public Administration, also served as chair of that department and directed Villanova’s nationally accredited master’s program. Her widely published scholarship focuses on public administration and management, state and local politics, urban politics, and women in politics.

Dean to Help Shape Legal Education

Mark Alexander, JD, The Arthur J. Kania Dean of Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law, was elected to a three-year term on the Executive Committee of the Association of American Law Schools, a nonprofit comprised of 179 law schools and serving more than 9,000 law school faculty.

Partnership with Archdiocese

The Archdiocese of Philadelphia recently entered into a unique partnership with Villanova's Center for Church Management to provide an innovative online Master of Science in Church Management degree for professional administrators working in area parishes, Catholic schools and other ministries.

Continuing Fight Against Human Trafficking

Awarded another round of funding from NoVo Foundation, the Villanova Law Institute to Address Commercial Sexual Exploitation is furthering its efforts to support survivors of human trafficking in Pennsylvania and across the US. The CSE Institute educates and provides technical assistance to policymakers, law enforcement officials and other responders, promoting multidisciplinary collaboration that focuses on victims and the trauma they have experienced.

Ruth McDermott-Levy, associate professor in the M. Louise Fitzpatrick College of Nursing.

Fulbright to Study Climate Change in Finland

Associate Professor Ruth McDermott-Levy, RN, ’96 MSN, ’08 PhD received a Fulbright award to study how climate change affects human health in Finland. The director of the M. Louise Fitzpatrick College of Nursing’s Center for Global and Public Health, Dr. McDermott-Levy will teach and do research at the University of Eastern Finland.

A laptop displaying the new Nova Network website.

A More Robust Nova Network

Villanova’s new, official platform for professional and social networking offers alumni, parents and students a slew of options for engaging with each other and advancing in their careers. The reimagined Nova Network allows users to find other Villanovans, discuss topics with fellow Wildcats and join groups based on locale or interests. They also can take advantage of professional development tools, industry information and job postings. To log on and start making connections, visit

A female Villanova School of Business professor in a suit speaking to a classroom of students.

Business Is Tops

The Villanova School of Business offers the best online graduate business programs in the country, according to U.S. News & World Report. The publication awarded the school the No. 1 spot in its annual Best Online Graduate Business Programs ranking. One of the strengths that earned VSB this honor was a perfect score for student engagement.

Four Villanova alumni holding up their fingers in V-shapes.

Good to Be Back

This year, alumni whose class years end in “3” or “8” had their turn to celebrate, reconnect and be feted. Reunion Weekend, held May 31 – June 3, featured class parties, a picnic, dancing, tours, Mass and other activities. At the Half-Century Dinner, members of the Class of 1968 received a surprise welcome from Jay Wright, the William B. Finneran Endowed Athletic Fund Head Coach.

On Board to Lead

Loyal Wildcats continue to step up to guide the Villanova University Alumni Association Board. Congratulations to Nancy Cawley Lane ’87 CLAS, who takes over as president; to Joseph “Joe” Lamack III ’87 COE, the new president-elect; and to the following new members: Emily Hughes ’11 CLAS, ’12 MA; Stephanie Lim Capello ’97 CLAS; and Kathryn “Katie” Kokol ’05 VSB, ’06 MAC.

A Gift for Problem Solving

A $1.25 million gift from Harris Corp. — the largest single corporate contribution in the College of Engineering’s history — is funding the Harris Summer Innovation Program. Through this competitive, self-directed engineering design program, students manage all aspects of real-world projects, through to final presentations at the Florida headquarters of the company, whose CEO is William Brown ’84 COE, ’87 MS.

An illustration of lines and dots, representing the information acquired as “big data.”

Making “Big Data” Compute

College of Liberal Arts and Sciences students Elizabeth Ryan ’19, Demetrios Papakostas ’18, Thomas Longo ’19 and Vincent Mutolo ’19 won “Best Insight” at the inaugural American Statistical Association DataFest Philadelphia competition, hosted by Villanova’s Center for Statistics Education in April. The students analyzed a real-world dataset from Indeed, the world’s top job website, and found a novel way to increase the company’s profit by limiting job postings in densely populated areas to increase the clicks to each job.