Graduate Studies News
After Villanova’s campus closed in March, Grad CLAS students dispersed across the country and globe. From reconnecting with family to learning new hobbies to adapting to new ways of learning and working, they showed a resiliency, creativity and optimism that not only helped them persist through today’s challenging times but also prepared them for the challenges of the future.
Jameel Rush, vice president of diversity and inclusion at Aramark and adjunct professor of human resource development at Villanova, believes companies can do more with their efforts to include and support employees from diverse backgrounds.
Assistant Professor Alexander Diaz-Lopez, PhD, Department of Mathematics and Statistics, and Assistant Teaching Professor Stephanie A. Katz Linkmeyer, PhD, Department of Chemistry, were two of five Villanova faculty members to win Open Education Resource (OER) grants through Villanova's Affordable Materials Project (AMP).
Mervin Woodlin Jr. won the 2020 Ellis R. Ott Scholarship Award, which recognizes both academic excellence and leadership in applied statistics projects, and is given to only one PhD student and one master's student in the country each year by the American Society for Quality.
Marc Gallicchio, PhD, and Whitney Martinko, PhD, publish new scholarship on the end of WWII in the Pacific and early efforts to preserve historic spaces in the US.
Dr. Alyssa Stark's $480,927 NSF grant will support her research on how environmental factors affect the performance, behavior and morphology of biological organisms.
Judith Giesberg, PhD, a professor of History at Villanova University, has received a grant of $100,000 from the National Archives and Records Administration’s Historical Publications and Records Commission to support her project "Last Seen: Finding Family After Slavery," which recovers the stories of families separated in the US domestic slave trade.
Dr. Joseph Toscano's five-year, $605,000 NSF grant will help fund his research of how people understand spoken language in different contexts by studying brain responses to speech and developing computer models that recognize spoken words.
Since our world changed with the COVID-19 pandemic, graduate students in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences have had to adapt to a new way of learning and living. Graduate Assistant Riley Gerenda '20 MA reached out to a few Grad CLAS students to see how they are dealing with these unprecedented times.
Recent Environmental Science graduate Nicole Marks '20 MS was one of nine students nationwide to be awarded a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Coastal Management Fellowship.
Villanova's Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences honored master's graduate Anne Mozel '19 MS with its Ingeborg and Byron Ward Outstanding Thesis Award for her work, "Distraction and Top-down Attentional Control After Adolescent Concussion."
Although Villanova's Three-minute Thesis (3MT) competition was canceled this year, the excellent submissions from graduate students in the College point to the importance of making research accessible.
CONCEPT is the scholarly journal of graduate students in the Villanova University College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. CONCEPT seeks to honor and highlight not only exemplary papers within their respective disciplines but also scholarship with wide interdisciplinary appeal.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, college and university classes across the country have been forced to move online. For Dr. Seth Matthew Fishman’s Campus Physical Environments course, there is quite a bit of irony in that.
Villanova Online MPA Student Part of Winning Regional Team in Global Public Policy Simulation Competition
Three students in Villanova University’s online Master of Public Administration (MPA) program participated in the global 2020 NASPAA-Batten Student Simulation Competition on Sustainable Cities and Communities on March 7 at the University of Albany, with one student taking top honors as part of the winning team in the region.
Barbara Sliker Weikert, EdD, '03 MA, a music teacher in the Norristown Area School District, will travel to Senegal as part of the Fulbright program.
Gender and Women's Studies Director's New Book Examines Popular Literature's Effect on White Supremacy in the Post-emancipation US
Travis Foster, PhD, associate professor of English and academic director of the Gender and Women’s Studies Program is tackling white supremacy from a fresh perspective in his new book, Genre and White Supremacy in the Postemancipation United States.
A new book by Jerusha Conner, PhD, associate professor of Education, examines what it means to be a student activist today and the factors on and off college campuses that have led to this new generation of activists.
Classical Studies Director Valentina DeNardis’ embrace of educational technology has transformed how Villanova students learn Latin, Greek and classical culture.
Villanova placed fourth among the top Fulbright producers behind only Georgetown University, Brown University and Princeton University. A record 33 students, including four CLAS graduate students, from Villanova won Fulbright awards for the 2019-2020 academic year.
Kamran Javadizadeh, PhD, associate professor of English, has won The Modern Language Association (MLA) of America’s 56th annual William Riley Parker Prize for an outstanding article published in PMLA, the association’s journal of literary scholarship.
Fatima Rezaei ’19 MPA draws on her life experiences to identify and connect with diverse groups, skills that translate well to her position in graduate admissions.
The National Science Foundation has awarded a $579,508 grant to Daniel A. Kraut, PhD, director of the graduate program in Chemistry, associate professor of Chemistry. The grant supports his project, “RUI: Control of Proteasomal Unfolding Ability by Substrate Ubiquitination.”
Villanova Psychology master's student Caitlin Cassidy earned a $500 student research grant from the Society of Personality Assessment (SPA) to investigate the role of attachment styles in early sibling relationships and corresponding personality functioning in adulthood.
Joseph Toscano, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, earned one of six $15,000 2019 Capita Foundation Auditory Research grant awards for his work examining the effects of hearing difficulty on speech perception.
Women in technology fields can face a number of challenges while navigating their careers. That’s why Villanova works to help its students identify and attend professional development and networking opportunities to help them reach their career goals. One important event is the Grace Hopper Celebration, which five Villanova graduate students in the Computing Sciences attended this fall in Orlando, Florida.
This Computer Science Research Team Is Using Machine Learning to Give Us Medical Results (Much, Much) Faster
Benjamin Mitchell, PhD, and his Computer Science students are designing algorithms to improve the efficiency and scope of medical imaging analysis.
This October in Atlanta, English master's student Sarah Beth Gilbert served on two panels and presented a paper at the first MultiverseCon, an inclusive science fiction and fantasy conference featuring writers, scholars and fans from the LGBTQ+ community and people from diverse backgrounds.
The path Catherine Wilson, PhD, took to her position as chair of Villanova University’s Department of Public Administration winds through philosophy, Latin America and faith-based organizations. Her research interests include immigration, nonprofit management and cultural competency, and she is driven by her desire to guide students as they nurture and develop their own commitments to public service.
This year, the Office of Graduate Studies welcomes two International Student Peer Advisors, Kate Kozlova and Navya Sree Kupparajum, to help serve the international graduate student community in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Kate is from Russia and is pursuing a Master of Arts in Education with a concentration in Higher Education. Navya is from India and is pursuing a Master of Science in Software Engineering.
A team of faculty and student researchers in Villanova's Environmental Science program are analyzing almost every possible urban configuration in Philadelphia neighborhoods to figure out the city's air pollution problems.
This September, 22 graduate students in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Villanova University took part in the Colleges’ first Graduate Student Research Symposium. The event was organized by the Office of Graduate Studies and the Center for Research and Fellowships and took place in the Connelly Center. The students who showcased their work, either with an oral presentation or a poster, each earned a Summer Research Fellowship from the Graduate Studies Office, and their presentations reported on the results of their summer inquiries.
As the Manager of Data Analytics for Xfinity Mobile Fraud Risk Management, Jacob Rozran '17 MS uses advanced analytics and data science to protect the company’s bottom line and prevent phony charges from popping up on its customers’ bills.
Environmental Science Faculty and Students Examine the Impact of Hurricane Maria on Streamwater in Puerto Rico
Steven Goldsmith and Lisa Rodrigues, associate professors of Environmental Science at Villanova, and a team of graduate students are doing research in Puerto Rico on water quality and evaluating how stream chemistry has changed post-Maria.
Maria Conway joins the Grad Studies staff after serving for 14 years in the Department of Communication.
Capt. Samuel Mitchell ’13 MPA, currently serving with the U.S. Army, was selected as a recipient of the General Douglas MacArthur Leadership Award. He was one of 30 recipients selected out of nearly 100,000 U.S. Army Junior Officer/Warrant Officer nominees.
The National Science Foundation awarded a $560,959 grant to Dennis Wykoff, PhD, the Dennis M. Cook ’90 Gregor Mendel Chair in Genetics in the Department of Biology in Villanova University’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, to support his research project on fungal disease.
Krista Malott, PhD, Associate Professor in the Department of Education & Counseling, will aid in infusing critical consciousness and social justice content across the curriculum of the University of Canterbury’s Master in Mental Health Counseling program.
With more than 300,000 HR and business executive members across the globe, the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) is the world’s largest HR association and leading advocate for HR professionals. Its annual conference attracts thousands of attendees each year. Prior to this year's SHRM Conference in Las Vegas, June 23-26, the SHRM Blog featured an interview with Villanova's Human Resource Development faculty.
Congratulations to the more than 300 doctoral and master's graduates from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences! These students were celebrated at Villanova's first Graduate Commencement Ceremony on May 18.
Villanova's Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences honored master's graduate Erin Hughes '18 MS with its Ingeborg and Byron Ward Outstanding Thesis Award for her work studying "Preferences for Self-Expansion: The Implications for Romantic Relationships" at its annual Psi Chi dinner in April.
Recent Environmental Science master's graduate Charlotte Shade '19 MS had her work about predicting land use changes in Philadelphia published in the February issue of Land, an international and cross-disciplinary peer-reviewed open access journal of land use/land change, land management and land system science.
Four graduate students in Villanova University's College of Liberal Arts and Sciences earned a prestigious Fulbright U.S. Student Grant for 2019-20. This year, 31 Villanova students won Fulbright awards, marking the largest single-year number of awards in the University's history.
CONCEPT is the scholarly journal of graduate students in the Villanova University College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. The publication and corresponding website seeks to honor and highlight not only exemplary papers within their respective disciplines but also scholarship with wide interdisciplinary appeal.
The Villanova alumni network is known for giving back, especially to current students who are trying to discern their own career paths. That generosity was on display on March 21, as four alumni returned to campus to talk about their careers in government and politics.
The event was hosted by the Department of Education and Counseling and attracted nearly 80 teachers who gathered to share their experiences and provide mutual support.
Dr. Woodard holds the rank of associate professor in the Department of Communication and currently serves in the role of coordinator of Media Studies. He was on the founding committee of the graduate program in Communication, for which he served as acting program director in 2004 and program director from 2007 to 2011.
In its ongoing effort to improve the graduate student experience at Villanova, the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences approved a new position designed to ease the administrative burden on graduate students and ensure that they are taking advantage of the opportunities available to them. Brooke Erdman '16 MA takes on this new role with a desire to help graduate students succeed and make the most of their time at the University.
Five students in Villanova University’s Master of Public Administration program formed the winning team in the global 2019 NASPAA-Batten Student Simulation Competition—the largest-ever student simulation competition in higher education. Villanova University served as one of 11 host sites for the international event, which focused on issues surrounding forced migration.
Master’s student Emily Geoghegan found Villanova faculty with similar research interests to help her advance her career. She is working with her thesis adviser, Samantha Chapman, PhD, on Chapman’s National Science Foundation-funded wetland protection study.
In her new role as International Student Ambassador, Xihlovo Mabunda ’19 MS, plans social and professional development events, serves as a liaison between the international student community and the Graduate Studies Office and other University offices, and helps with admissions-related tasks for international students, among other duties.
Villanova University biology master’s student Grace Wong received a $500 grant from Sigma Xi, the Scientific Research Honor Society's Grants-in-Aid of Research program, for her research about how a class of molecules known as noncoding RNAs work to maintain fertility in animals.
What do Martin Luther King Jr., Mother Teresa, Julia Roberts and Adolf Hitler have in common? The answer is charisma—and a new book by Vincent W. Lloyd, PhD, associate professor of Theology and Religious Studies at Villanova University, explores how it can be used for both good and evil.
Health information technology is a growing field, and this Main Line Health manager is taking advantage of Villanova's new online Health Informatics graduate program to shape her career and the future of patient care.
After graduating from Dickinson College with a degree in environmental studies, Elise Rodriguez ’18 MS worked a variety of jobs that matched her passions for research, wildlife management and conservation. When she began looking in 2016 at graduate programs to help further career, she was drawn to Villanova’s new Master of Science in Environmental Science (MSES) program, which offered an interdisciplinary experience, diverse areas of field research and technical training wanted by employers.
On November 7, Villanova University Russian Area Studies hosted a panel of experts who spoke about the 1968 Prague Spring, including Villanova alumnus Sean Brennan, PhD, ’03 MA, Associate Professor of History at the University of Scranton.
When you think of science, your brain probably conjures up complex experiments or complicated formulas and theories. But for Villanova University Chemistry Master’s grad Stephanie Schallenhammer, science is more than that – it’s an art form. She pairs her love of science with her creativity to excel in the pharmaceutical science sphere.
William Desmond, PhD, the David R. Cook Chair in Philosophy at Villanova University, was awarded the J.N. Findlay Award for Best Books in Metaphysics, 2016-2017 by The Metaphysical Society of America for his book The Intimate Universal: The Hidden Porosity among Religion, Art, Philosophy and Politics (Columbia University Press, 2016).
Labor with Love: Studium Brings Together Top Thomas Aquinas Scholars for Immersive Experience at Villanova
Summer means many things for college professors and graduate students. For a small group of theologians and philosophers, summer includes an annual five-day immersion into the influential works of medieval priest and scholar St. Thomas Aquinas. For the first time, Villanova University hosted this year’s Aquinas Studium.
The National Arts Club has selected James Ijames, MFA, Villanova University assistant professor of Theater, actor, director and playwright, as the recipient of the 2018 Kesselring Prize for his play, Kill Move Paradise. As a winner of this prestigious award, Ijames will receive $25,000 from the Club Kesselring Fund and the chance to have a two-week residency to develop his work at the National Arts Club’s historic clubhouse.
Statistical analysis probably doesn’t come to mind when you hear “Main Line Health;” you’re probably thinking doctors, diagnosis or disease. But analyzing healthcare systems and their data is how Villanova University Master’s grad Meghan Buckley spends her days.
History Professor Judith Giesberg’s new book features chapter by Villanova alumna Rebecca Capobianco ’11 CLAS, ’13 MA.
Heidi M. Rose, PhD, professor and chair of the Department of Communication in Villanova University’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, has received the 2018 Leslie Irene Coger Award for Distinguished Performance from the National Communication Association.
Villanova University biology professor Janice Knepper, PhD, and her students have discovered that a gene, previously poorly characterized, can be associated with breast cancer. Over the last eight years, Knepper and her students have been working with the gene, ZC3H8, simply known has Fliz1. The findings were recently published in BMC Cancer, a peer-reviewed open-source medical journal.
Villanova University History Professor Selected to Participate in Library of Congress National Book Festival
Professor Catherine Kerrison, author of the critically acclaimed book, Jefferson’s Daughters, will discuss race and gender in the early republic.
Massimo Faggioli, PhD, professor of Theology in Villanova University’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, has received a 2018 Catholic Press Association award for his book Catholicism and Citizenship: Political Cultures of the Church in the Twenty-First Century.
Villanova Chemistry professor Amanda Grannas, PhD, is co-principal investigator of a research team examining the effect of dramatic sea ice loss and rising surface temperatures on marine aerosols in the Arctic Ocean. Villanova chemistry master’s student Allison Remenapp will be on board the expedition ship collecting aerosol and seawater samples.
This June, the Villanova University Master of Public Administration (MPA) program hosted a delegation of Lithuanian municipal managers and reservists in the country's armed forces to provide an overview of Villanova and the MPA program and discuss how the groups may work together in the future.
Villanova University strives to attract and develop students who will ignite change throughout their lives, and this drive to make the world a better place often starts while they are still on campus. For William Repetto ’18 MA and graduate assistant in the Falvey Memorial Library, this drive led him to create a new resource guide that encourages community building, outreach and intersectional exploration.
Christine Palus, PhD, is a visionary academic leader dedicated to continuing the University’s long-standing tradition of service to adult learners. She will continue to serve as dean of Graduate Studies in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences in addition to serving as the new dean of the College of Professional Studies.
Micki Burdick ’18 MA joined the Villanova University Master’s program in Communication with a passion for activism and aspirations to improve her writing and research skills. While Villanova certainly helped Burdick sharpen her scholarship, it also helped her discern a career path in which she can channel her passion for social change. This fall, Burdick will be enrolling in the University of Iowa’s highly regarded doctoral program in Rhetoric and Public Advocacy, with the goal of becoming a professor.
“Good history participates in ongoing conversations,” writes Villanova University Assistant Professor of History Whitney Martinko, PhD, in her blog post on The Woodlands website about a recent project undertaken by graduate students in her public history practicum.
CONCEPT, the scholarly journal of graduate students in the Villanova University College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, seeks to promote and reward not only exemplary papers within their respective disciplines but also scholarship with wide interdisciplinary appeal. Graduate History student Justine Carré Miller earned the 2018 Graduate Research Prize Essay, which was announced at the CONCEPT release and awards luncheon on April 19.
The Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences honored Gregory Demas, PhD, ’95 MS, Professor and Chair of the Biology Department at Indiana University, with its 2018 Daniel J. Ziegler Distinguished Alumnus Award.
Villanova University History Professor Marc Gallicchio, PhD, has been named as one of three winners of the prestigious Bancroft Prize in American History and Diplomacy for his book, Implacable Foes: War in the Pacific, 1944-1945.
Communication Master’s Student Wins National Award for Analysis of Beyoncé’s 2016 Super Bowl Statement
Beyoncé’s politically charged performance at halftime of the Super Bowl on February 7, 2016, elicited mixed reactions, but for Villanova University student Richelle Hurley ’17 CLAS, ’18 MA, the performance was a clear effort to change the social construction of both sports and race. This analysis earned Hurley the Top Student Paper Award in the Communication as Social Construction Division at the National Communication Association convention in Dallas, Texas, this past November.
Villanova University’s Doctoral Program in Philosophy is known for its depth in research and scholarship. The program’s faculty are internationally known experts in their fields, and its students regularly present their work at conferences and symposiums around the world.
Matt Sisco ’16 MS was toiling in a tight job market and faced an important decision early in his professional career: should he continue down his current path in retail management, in which he had already worked four years, or should he head in a new direction that could provide both personal fulfillment and higher income potential? In the end, he chose to invest in a master’s degree at Villanova University that launched his new career.
Villanova University Associate Professor of History Catherine Kerrison’s, PhD, new book, Jefferson’s Daughters: Three Sisters, White and Black, in a Young America, explores enduring issues of race and gender through the stories of Thomas Jefferson’s daughters’ divergent life experiences.
As with many complex socio-technical fields, the healthcare industry is turning to the field of computing sciences for solutions, and Villanova University, a Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society Academic Affiliate, is at the forefront of a growing health informatics specialization to enable healthcare reform.
Half of the more than 7,000 rare diseases we know of today are initially misdiagnosed. As U.S. Lead of Predictive Analytics at IQVIA, it’s Villanova alumna Nadea Leavitt's job to correct those mistakes.
Sue Franz ’89 PhD, has been advocating for women in leadership in manufacturing throughout her successful career. In recognition of that, Dr. Franz was awarded the 2017 Graduate Alumni Medallion by Villanova University’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. While Dr. Franz could not participate in the Alumni Medallion celebration on October 4 because of a prior speaking engagement, she was able to attend another special event this fall at her alma mater.
Alex Reif has served as a Senior Scientist for the past five of his eight years at GlaxoSmithKline — a career he began while obtaining his Master’s Degree in Chemistry from Villanova University in 2010. “I felt connected to the department, faculty and campus,” he says of his choice to continue his education after receiving his undergraduate degree from Villanova.
Villanova University Associate Professor Rayna D. Markin, PhD, won the 2017 American Psychological Foundation Early Career Award for Division 29 (Society for the Advancement of Psychotherapy) for her groundbreaking work on the psychological experience of pregnancy and of pregnancy loss.
Villanova Biology Professor Part of International Research Team to Complete First Global Review and Map of Every Vertebrate on Earth
Villanova University Professor of Biology Aaron Bauer, PhD, was part of an international team of scientists that completed the ‘atlas of life’—the first global review and map of every vertebrate on Earth. Led by researchers at the University of Oxford and Tel Aviv University, the 39 scientists produced a catalogue and atlas of the world’s reptiles. By linking this atlas with existing maps for birds, mammals and amphibians, the team have found many new areas where conservation action is vital.
The Office of Graduate Studies in Villanova University’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences is investing in some of its top graduate students, offering a $3,000 Graduate Summer Research Fellowship to each of 26 students from a variety of academic disciplines to engage in research critical to their academic journeys.
Some ideas come to us with a rush, only to fade into the background as more pressing concerns keep our latent successes simmering in the depths of our gray matter. Sometimes, though, we find a spark – that moment that ignites our passion and lays out a path to bring our idea to life. For Villanova alumnus Christopher Dayett ’16 MA, whose new work, Dorian Gray the Musical, won selection to New York Musical Festival July 12-14, that spark began with Villanova Professor of Theatre Michael Hollinger’s playwriting class.
Do you remember Green Fruit Loop? She is the green anole, a lizard native to the Southeastern U.S., that Villanova Master’s student and elementary school teacher Mark Eastburn ’17 MS helped rescue from an organic salad container shipped from Florida to Princeton, N.J., where he teaches. The story made national news last winter when Eastburn made a home for the lizard in his classroom. We are happy to report that while their journeys have not been easy, Eastburn and Green Fruit Loop are both thriving!
Study Challenges Perception that Political Alignment Leads to Greater Discretion for Government Officials
Chemistry Professor Kevin Minbiole’s research into infection control has won international and University-wide acclaim