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:

  • 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 is proudly sponsoring the opening session at the National Communication Association Conference in November 2019: "Race Relations in Charm City: Communicating Social Justice." Reflecting our ongoing partnership with NCA (see below), this session will be bringing together Communication scholars and community activists for a conversation regarding the pressing social justice issues tied to race in Baltimore--including poverty, violence, health, and wealth attainment. More details...
  • ANNOUNCING OUR 2019-2020 WFI RESEARCH GRANTS RECIPIENTS! For 2019-20, the WFI awarded roughly $70,000 to faculty and doctoral-level scholars across the globe. Further, these scholars and their projects were an outstanding group; our acceptance rate for this year's grant program was only 19%. Please join us in congratulating this year's recipients. Interested in the WFI Research Grant Program, or learning more about this year's (or past years') recipients? More details...
  • Want to check out the next speaker in our "Transit Talks" series? Coming to Villanova and Temple University campuses in Spring 2020 will be Dr. Karma R. Chávez from the University of Texas at Austin! More 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 helped the National Communication Association unite scholarship and social justice through major events in 2016, 2017, and 2018. In 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!