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The Waterhouse Family Institute for the Study of Communication and Society

The Waterhouse Family Institute (WFI), housed within Villanova University’s Department of Communication, was established by a generous gift from Lawrence Waterhouse Jr., ’59 A&S, founder of Waterhouse Investor Services, Inc.

The WFI was founded to highlight the centrality of Communication in the creation of social change. Our goal is to serve as the center of an international network of Communication scholars, practitioners, and activists working to create a more just social world.

WFI

WFI News and Upcoming Events:

  • JUST ANNOUNCED! The call for applications for the 2021-22 WFI Research Grant Program has just been released! Applications are now being accepted, and are due by 11:59pm EST July 16, 2021. More details...
  • The WFI proudly sponsored the opening session at the National Communication Association Conference in November 2020: The NCA Opening Session "Mental Health at the Crossroads: Intersections in Health and Society," featured both NCA members and community members examining the factors that impact mental health and mental health treatment. Specifically, panelists examined ways in which mental health intersects with race, gender, sexual orientation, educational attainment, and income. More details...
  • We are very pleased to recognize the recipients of the 2020-21 WFI Research Grant Program! In light of the global health crisis and the reduction in grant funding available to scholars worldwide, we are proud to have increased our level of funding to nearly $125,000 for this academic year--and are proud to be funding 14 fantastic projects connecting communication and social justice! More details...
  • THE WFI & VILLANOVA'S 1842 DAY CHALLENGE! Thanks to the generosity of nearly 8,000 individual donors on September 22, 2020, the WFI unlocked a $1 million gift--which increases our endowment to a total of over $4 million! We are excited at how this generous gift will enable us to increase and enhance our activities, and deepen the global impact of our funded work! More details...
  • POSTPONED! Our Transit Talks lecture series for 2020-2021 was cancelled due to the global pandemic. We plan to return in the fall of 2021! Check back for more details later this fall!
  • ANOTHER SUCCESSFUL WFI-SPONSORED EVENT! We were very pleased to have co-sponsored the second iteration of our "Transit Talks" series, an innovative collaboration with Temple University. This year, on February 6th and 7th, we had the pleasure to welcome Dr. Karma R. Chávez from the University of Texas at Austin. At Villanova, she treated us to the lecture, "Alienizing Nation: HIV/AIDS and the Rhetoric of Quarantine, Ban, and Resistance." More details...
  • Student Academy Awards WINNER! And GOLD MEDALIST! One of our WFI-funded social justice documentaries just won a Student Academy Award--and took home the Gold Medal! Sankofa,” a WFI-funded documentary produced by a team of students at Villanova, won the Documentary/Domestic Film Schools Category for the Student Academy Awards. Sankofa is a documentary about the loss of identity and its negative systemic impact on black males across the world. By exploring the complexities and parallels between the United States and Ghana, the film illuminates the prevalence of mental slavery. The film was shot in Ghana and the United States during the fall of 2017. This makes a total of 4 WFI-sponsored films that have been finalists for the Student Academy Awards, with "Sankofa" also being named a winner--a record of success which is unprecedented for a program like Villanova's! Congratulations to Prof. Hezekiah Lewis and his student team of talented and visionary storytellers! To watch the trailer, click here; to visit the production team's website, click hereMore details...
  • The WFI contributed to the National Communication Association's recent publication on scholarship and activism, "Communication's Civic Callings"--check it out and download the PDF!
  • The WFI has helped the National Communication Association unite scholarship and social justice since 2016. In 2019, the WFI sponsored "Race Relations in Charm City: Communicating Social Justice," a conversation regarding the pressing social justice issues tied to race in Baltimore--including poverty, violence, health, and wealth attainment. If you missed it in Baltimore, watch it onlineIn 2018, the WFI sponsored "Environmental Justice in the American Southwest," a fantastic panel focusing on the pressing environmental issues facing indigenous nations in Utah and the southwest as a whole In 2017, the WFI sponsored "Lyrical Justice," a spotlight poetry slam engaging vital issues of social justice--and was a major success. In 2016, the WFI helped NCA connect scholarship and activism through the Social Justice Exchange. This spotlight event was part of the unique programming for NCA's 102nd conference: Communication's Civic Callings!