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Villanova in the Media

Media Highlights from June - August 2023


Villanova’s distinctive academic programs, world-class faculty, leading research and scholarship, and high-achieving students place the University in the national media spotlight. Below is a sampling of media highlights from June - August 2023.

Household Debt is at an All-Time High, but 2008 was Still Worse, Report Finds
“We also can’t discount the importance of higher interest rates on the costs of borrowing for households,” said John Sedunov, associate professor of finance at Villanova University’s School of Business. “Not only are goods and services more expensive, but so is money.”

In a Record Year of Catastrophes, FEMA’s Disaster Fund Is Slipping Into the Red Before Hurricane Season Even Peaks   
The Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA's) relief fund is expected to be depleted by the middle or end of August, chief administrator Deanne Criswell has warned. And now there’s growing concern inside the agency that funding could lapse if Congress doesn’t pass a spending bill... "FEMA's losing money," said Stephen Strader, a Villanova University professor who studies climate and natural disasters. "We’re not even in (peak) hurricane season yet and they’re projected to be in a deficit. That signals to me everything is out of whack."

Boards Could Start Mirroring U.S. Diversity by 2060, Deloitte Projects
Women and people from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups hold historically high levels of board seats, according to Deloitte’s latest census of Fortune 500 boards: They make up 44.7% of Fortune 500 directors... Corinne Post is a professor of management and the Fred J. Springer Endowed Chair in Business Leadership at Villanova School of Business at Villanova University.

Prigozhin’s Fate a Warning Shot for Putin’s Critics
The Hill
Mark Schrad, a Russia expert and associate professor of political science at Villanova University, said debating the “strength” or “weakness” of Putin was a fool’s errand, given how little outside observers actually know about dynamics within the Kremlin.

Man's Brain Gets 'Fried' After Suffering Massive Burns in Phoenix Heat Wave
Escalating heat waves nationwide are a cause for concern as people should follow the basics to prevent serious harm or injuries, multiple health experts told Newsweek... Daniel Jackson Smith, an assistant professor at Villanova University and a nurse practitioner, told Newsweek via phone that heart spikes and feelings of nausea unaccompanied by vomiting should be acknowledged and lead to 10-15 minutes of rest to assess the situation.

Pope Francis’s Peace Envoy Comes to Washington

The New Yorker
Henry Kissinger met with China’s defense minister in Beijing, and President Biden met with Pope Francis’s special envoy for Russia’s war on Ukraine, in Washington. The first encounter drew wide attention in the American press, the second much less. “Not even a photo op,” Massimo Faggioli, an Italian theologian who teaches at Villanova University and who wrote a book on Biden’s Catholicism, remarked on Twitter, after calling the meeting one that “means a lot for the Holy See…, not so much for the U.S.A. ”

The Issue of Religious Public Charter Schools
According to Michael Moreland, Villanova University Professor of Law and Religion and Director of the Eleanor H. McCullen Center for Law, Religion and Public Policy, "Once the state decides to afford parents a choice and opens that choice to include private institutions, including privately operated charter schools, to deny funding then based purely on the fact that a school is religious is forbidden by the First Amendment..."

Study Shows Federal Weather Model Underplays Flooding, Putting Infrastructure Spending at Risk   
The federal government is relying on an outdated weather model that is putting hundreds of billions of dollars in infrastructure spending at risk, according to a study by climate research firm First Street Foundation...  Some states and cities are updating their design standards on their own to account for climate-driven precipitation changes, said Robert Traver, a professor and director of the Villanova University Center for Resilient Water Systems.

How the Tax World Has Responded to Stanford’s Study on Black Audit Rates
Thomson Reuters
In the months following the release of joint research finding Black taxpayers are more frequently audited than others, the tax community has engaged in an ongoing conversation on the agency’s race-neutral stance, biases in enforcement algorithms, and what can be done to promote equity amid systemic issues... Leslie Book, a professor at the Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law, argued that the IRS “becoming a force for antiracist policies” and taking part in progressing towards racial justice would have an indirect benefit of increasing trust in government.

James Ijames: Bessemer to Broadway
Host Charlotte Alter is joined by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright, James Ijames. Known for his groundbreaking Broadway debut, "Fat Ham" –a unique adaptation of Hamlet set in the backdrop of a backyard barbeque– Villanova University’s Ijames shares stories of his personal journey into theatre.

The US Has a New COVID-19 Strain on the Rise. Meet Eris.  
In the latest data published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Covid-19 hospitalizations rose 12.5 percent between July 23 and July 29. Overall, they have been increasing since July 1... As of now, if people keep up with prevention efforts, they should be able to stay safe, Ruth McDermott-Levy, a professor at the Louise Fitzpatrick College of Nursing at Villanova University, told Vox.

Is Reclining Your Airplane Seat Upright Behavior or Downright Rude?
The Wall Street Journal
Commercial airlines equip most planes with reclining seats, so passengers are entitled to tip them back. Yet few aspects of air travel spur so many gripes... Brett Wilmot, the associate director of the ethics program at Villanova University, said that as an ethical matter, there is no right or wrong on the question.

The U.S. Is Turning Away From Its Biggest Scientific Partner at a Precarious Time
The Wall Street Journal
One of the most productive scientific collaborations of the 21st century is pulling apart, as deteriorating relations between the U.S. and China lead researchers to sever ties... "It feels like U.S. policymakers—people in highest executive branches—have a backward understanding of who benefits from Chinese collaboration," said Deborah Seligsohn, an assistant professor of political science at Villanova University and a former environment, science, technology and health counselor at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing.