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Villanova University’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Awards 2021 Alumni Medallions

VILLANOVA, Pa. – Villanova University’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences recently honored five alumni who have distinguished themselves in their respective professions and demonstrated service and dedication to their communities and to the University. The five individuals received the biennial College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Alumni Medallion at a special celebration at the Inn at Villanova on Oct. 7, 2021.  

Margaret McCarvill, MBA, ’73 CLAS and Thomas A. Prince, PhD, ’70 CLAS received the 2021 Rev. Kail C. Ellis, OSA Alumni Medallion, named in honor of the Rev. Kail C. Ellis, OSA, PhD, assistant to the President, Dean Emeritus of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, and associate professor of Political Science. Tiffany Ferrette ’15 CLAS and Ryan McCormick ’07 CLAS are the recipients of the 2021 Young Alumni Medallion, which recognizes undergraduate alumni who have graduated within the past 10 years. Hezekiah Lewis, MFA, ’99 CLAS, ’02 MA was honored with the Graduate Alumni Medallion, which recognizes an alumna or alumnus of the College’s master’s or doctorate programs.  This marks the 37th year the Alumni Medallions have been awarded. The awards are bestowed on individuals who demonstrate a great capacity for creativity, innovation and contribution to the common good. 

Margaret McCarvill

Margaret McCarvill, MBA, ’73 CLAS 

Current board member and former board chair, Pennsylvania Horticultural Society and Neighborhood Gardens Trust 

After graduating from Villanova University with a major in the Honors Program, Margaret McCarvill spent five years with General Electric doing press relations for its electric utility and space divisions. Exposure at the major multinational company and great advice from mentors at GE, encouraged her to obtain an MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania in 1980, studying management and decision sciences. 

Her career spanned 40 years, mostly in the chemicals and materials industries, in global corporate executive positions for FMC Corporation, Rohm and Haas, and Dow Chemical Company. While at FMC McCarvill led the company’s first integrated enterprise planning implementation of SAP software for FMC’s Chemical Business in the mid 1990’s. She had the opportunity to travel extensively and spent two and half years living in the Asia Pacific region, responsible for Finance and Business Development. She came to Rohm and Haas in 2003, where she started in a finance role but subsequently became a leader of the company’s logistics and procurement operations, developing more advanced supply chains. When Dow Chemical acquired Rohm and Haas in 2009, McCarvill was instrumental in integrating the two companies and built out supply chain capabilities in the Middle East and Southeast Asia for Dow Coating Material—a $3 billion division. 

McCarvill started MMM, a supply chain consultancy, in 2013, and simultaneously got more involved in nonprofit activities focused on gardening, open spaces and community gardens. By 2018, she ended her consulting work to focus entirely on her nonprofit interests. For the last 16 years, McCarvill has served as a volunteer, committee member and board member for both the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society and the Neighborhood Gardens Trust. When the President of the Horticultural Society unexpectedly resigned, she served as interim Executive Director of the organization for 10 months until a new President was recruited. She was Chairman of the Board for both organizations the last three years and remains an engaged board member for both. 

McCarvill joined the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences’ Dean’s Advisory Council in 2018 and has been happy to support and advise Villanova’s Center for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Stewardship over the last two years. 

Thomas A. Prince

Thomas A. Prince, PhD, ’70 CLAS 

Ira S. Bowen Professor of Physics and Allen V.C. and Lenabelle Davis Leadership Chair, California Institute of Technology

Thomas (Tom) Prince, PhD, is the Ira S. Bowen Professor of Physics at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) and holds the Allen V.C. and Lenabelle Davis Leadership Chair at Caltech. Between May 2001 and June 2006, Dr. Prince was the Chief Scientist at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), responsible for the internal research and development program. While Chief Scientist at JPL, Dr. Prince worked closely with fellow Villanovan, Tom Gavin ’61 CLAS, who was Chief Engineer for JPL and one of the true pioneers of exploration of the Solar System. Dr. Prince is currently the Director of the W.M. Keck Institute for Space Studies at Caltech. He is a Fellow of the American Physical Society and has received the NASA Distinguished Service Award. Dr. Prince has been a long-term Senior Research Scientist at JPL. 

Dr. Prince has diverse research and public service interests. A continuing theme of his research has been the detection of exotic astrophysical objects ranging from asteroids to white dwarf stars to neutron stars and black holes. He undertakes his research using a wide variety of astronomical tools including optical telescopes, radio antennas, gamma-ray telescopes and gravitational wave detectors. His research group is often highlighted in the news, most recently with the discovery of a white dwarf star that is more massive than our Sun but is about the size of the Moon. He is currently working on characterizing the variability of more than 2 billion stars in our own Milky Way Galaxy. 

Dr. Prince is passionate about “science activism”—engagement on important scientific topics relevant to society. He has led studies on verification of greenhouse gas treaties for the Department of Energy during the Obama administration and was instrumental in launching a study for the National Science Foundation on US Research Security. His current activities include addressing problems with detection and tracking of wildfires and problems with space debris generated by large constellations of telecommunication satellites in Earth’s orbit. He has recently briefed the administration, congressional staffers and agency scientists on the impacts of large constellations of satellites. 

Dr. Prince graduated summa cum laude from Villanova with a degree in Mathematics. He went on to graduate work at the University of Chicago, where he received his Masters and PhD degree in Physics, before joining Caltech, where he has been since 1979. 

Tiffany Ferrette

Tiffany Ferrette ’15 CLAS 

Policy Analyst, Child Care and Early Education, Center for Law and Social Policy 

Tiffany Ferrette has been a policy analyst at the Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP) in Washington, D.C., on the Child Care and Early Education team since late 2020. In that role, she brings expertise and experiences in early learning and child wellbeing from practice, research, and policy. Ferrette’s work is through the lens of achieving racial equity in education and care for families and educators. 

Prior to joining CLASP, Ferrette was a policy analyst at the National Governors Association (NGA). At NGA, she supported the nation’s governors on issues of early care and education, school safety and prevention, and human services policies. She managed state technical assistance projects on issues of early care and education and has written memos, briefs and other publications on early childhood education, child care, health and home visiting, education indicators and measurements, and high-quality preschool for governors’ offices across the nation. During her nearly three years at NGA, Ferrette was deeply involved in the organization’s cross-team equity work providing research and best practices to internal and external partners. 

Ferrette began her career serving children and families in the Children’s Defense Fund’s Freedom Schools program in the classroom, as a curriculum trainer and classroom coach. After graduating from Villanova University with a double major in Philosophy and Spanish, Ferrette was honored as a Fulbright scholar, teaching English and building a curriculum around US-Colombian history and culture at Universidad Antonio Nariño in Bogotá, Colombia. 

During her time at Villanova, Ferrette co-founded the Edward Collymore Honor Society and was involved in various other campus activities. She has spoken at events for the Charlotte, North Carolina chapter of the Villanova Alumni Association and most enjoys connecting with Villanova students and alumni to share her experiences with them. 

Ferrette holds a master’s degree in education policy with concentrations in early childhood and law and education from Teachers College, Columbia University. 

Ryan McCormick

Ryan McCormick ’07 CLAS 

Vice President, Unscripted Entertainment Publicity, NBCUniversal Television and Streaming 

Ryan McCormick serves as Vice President, Unscripted Entertainment Publicity, NBCUniversal Television and Streaming. He is responsible for the day-to-day communication strategy related to development, production, marketing, digital and programming for the company’s various cable networks including Bravo, E!, Oxygen, USA Network and its new direct-to-consumer platform, Peacock. 

Throughout his time at NBCUniversal, McCormick has developed and implemented comprehensive media strategies and press outreach for popular franchises including “The Real Housewives,” “Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen,” “Million Dollar Listing” and the Emmy-nominated “Below Deck” on Bravo, “Keeping Up with the Kardashians,” “The People’s Choice Awards,” “E! News,” “Botched,” “The Bradshaw Bunch,” “Live from the Red Carpet” on E!, “Chrisley Knows Best,” “Growing Up Chrisley” on USA Network, and many more. 

In addition, he’s previously held positions at Netflix, Bravo, Oxygen, the TODAY Show and got his start in the industry as a Page in the NBC Page Program. 

McCormick graduated from Villanova University with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication. He is a member of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. 

Hezekiah Lewis

Hezekiah Lewis, MFA, ’99 CLAS, ’02 MA 

Teaching Professor, Communication, Villanova University; filmmaker 

Hezekiah Lewis is a professor and filmmaker with a vision to provoke social change through film. He aims to expose personal stories and controversial topics through film that spark healthy and vibrant conversations. Lewis’ films have received numerous awards and have been accepted to film festivals worldwide. His accolades include international and domestic film festival awards, the Media Icon Award, The Golden Circle Award, The James Bridges Award and the Director’s Guild of America Award, to name a few. 

Lewis earned his Master of Arts degree in Theatre from Villanova University and his Master of Fine Arts from the school of Theater, Film and Television at UCLA. Prior to earning his graduate degrees in theatre and film, he attended Villanova University on a football scholarship. Lewis also keeps busy as a film professor at Villanova and leads the International Social Justice Documentary program. At Villanova, his excellence in teaching has been recognized with the Meyer Innovation and Creative Excellence Award, the Ethos Award and the Wildcat Crossing Faculty Award. He was also a finalist for the Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching and received Honorable Mention for the Tolle Lege Award. 

Lewis’ students have won numerous awards at international and domestic film festivals, including a Student Academy Award in 2019—a first for Villanova University. Passionate about film, Lewis encourages his students to create films that are socially conscious and of the utmost quality. 

About Villanova University's College of Liberal Arts and Sciences: Since its founding in 1842, Villanova University's College of Liberal Arts and Sciences has cultivated knowledge, understanding and intellectual courage for a purposeful life in a challenging and changing world. With more than 40 majors across the humanities, social sciences and natural sciences, it is the oldest and largest of Villanova's colleges, serving more than 4,500 undergraduate and graduate students each year. The College is committed to a teacher-scholar model, offering outstanding undergraduate and graduate research opportunities and a rigorous core curriculum that prepares students to become critical thinkers, strong communicators and ethical leaders with a truly global perspective.