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The Villanova Women’s Professional Network (VWPN) connects Villanova women, encourages their professional and personal development, and inspires them to succeed. Our programming enlightens all of our community about the issues and challenges facing women today. Led by a steering committee of faculty, staff, students, and alumnae from across campus, the VWPN wants Villanova to be known as an institution where women thrive, on our campus and beyond.



  • Provide opportunities to connect Villanova women from diverse backgrounds across disciplines, both on and off campus
  • Advocate for the advancement of Villanova women  
  • Sponsor and champion Villanova programming that educates our community on how we can work together to enhance the quality of life for women

Whom We Serve

Our target audience is all women in the Villanova community, including undergraduate and graduate students, alumnae, faculty, and staff from all six colleges on campus: Villanova School of Business, College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, College of Nursing, College of Engineering, School of Law, and College of Professional Studies.

All members of the Villanova community are invited and welcome to participate.


Who We Are

The Villanova Women’s Professional Network is led by a steering committee of faculty, undergraduate and graduate students, staff, and alumnae currently based at the Villanova School of Business.  

We began our work in the 2011-2012 academic year.

Steering Committee Membership, 2015 – 2016

  • Cheryl Carleton (Director) - Economics, VSB
  • Debra Arvanites - Management & Operations, VSB
  • Lynn Brooks - Management & Operations, VSB
  • Melinda German - Associate Dean, Undergraduate Studies, VSB
  • Michele Gianforcaro - Mentoring Program Director, VSB
  • Stacy Grant Hohenleitner - Faculty Member, MSN, RN, CNA, College of Nursing
  • Shelly Howton - Finance, VSB
  • Kristy Irwin - Director of Strategy & Development, Graduate Programs, VSB
  • Mary Kelly - Economics, VSB
  • Leah Kramkowski - VWPN Graduate Fellow, VSB MBA '17
  • Helen Lafferty - Education and Counseling, CLAS
  • Amy Layman - Executive Director, Alumni Relations
  • Wen Mao - Associate Professor, VSB
  • Amy Molnar - Alumna, VSB '94
  • Ann McKenzie - Coordinator of College Relations, CON
  • Annette Palen - President of Undergraduate Women In Business, VSB ‘16
  • Katie Pepito - President of Graduate Women in Business, VSB MBA '16
  • Michele Pistone - Professor of Law, VLS
  • Hillary Seith - Alumna, VSB MBA '15
  • Lisa Sewell - English, Director of Programming for Gender & Women's Studies, CLAS
  • Alicia Strandberg - Management & Operations, VSB
  • Kate Szumanski - Director of Communication, CLAS
  • Cathy Toner - Director of Communications and Marketing, VSB
  • Ani Ural - Mechanical Engineering, COE

Subscribe to VWPN

Subscribe to receive updates and our semi-annual newsletter.

Contact Us

Cheryl Carleton
Director, Villanova Women's Professional Network

Looking for key information about the VWPN?

Read our annual 1-page report:

VWPN 2020 Theme:

2020 - What's Your Vision for the Future?