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NOVA NEWS: January/February at Villanova

Nova News is a monthly look at news and programs across the University. This edition of Nova News highlights the recent recognition of Villanova as a national leader in study abroad, as well as the work and impact of Villanova Law’s Clinic for Asylum, Refugee and Emigrant Service (CARES). In the upcoming weeks, the University will host a number of special events covering a wide variety of topics, including Pope Francis’ Message about the Catholic Church’s Mission in the Modern World, the 10th anniversary of the Center for Church Management in the Villanova School of Business, and lectures from renowned authors as part of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences’ 16th Annual Literary Festival. The start of February also brings both the Super Bowl and Winter Olympics, and Villanova faculty experts are available to share their thoughts on everything from advertisements to economics.


Villanova Celebrates Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. with Day of Service, Special Programs and Lectures

Villanova will celebrate the legacy of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., with a series of academic programs, keynote addresses and service opportunities Jan. 20-23, that honor the life and work of the iconic civil rights advancement leader. Click here for an overview of the University’s upcoming MLK events.

Villanova Welcomes One Book Author Susan Nussbaum to Campus Jan. 28

Susan Nussbaum, author of Good Kings, Bad Kings will visit Villanova’s main campus for a day-long round of events Jan. 28. Good Kings, Bad Kings is the focus of this year’s One Book Villanova community reading program. The author’s visit will culminate with a book-themed community dinner and evening presentation open to the public.  Dedicated media time is available for interviews with the author. For more information, click here.

Villanova Ranked Among National Study Abroad Leaders

Villanova was ranked third among the nation’s top 40 master’s institutions for total number of study abroad students by the Institute of International Education (IIE) Open Doors Annual Report. At Villanova, over 40% of last year’s graduating class spent at least a summer abroad. Nearly 800 students study in locations all over the world and last year, there were students in 37 different countries. From Singapore to Valparaíso and London to Melbourne, Villanovans are living and learning in international settings. To learn more click here.

Pope’s Message about Catholic Church’s Mission in the Modern World the Focus of Series

Villanova University will host a series of conversations inspired by Pope Francis’ Evangelii Gaudium, an apostolic exhortation on the Church's mission in the modern world, beginning on Feb. 5. Discussion of themes central to Francis' papacy, including the role of the Church in the world today, obligations to the poor, and the current socioeconomic system will be led by Villanova faculty members. For additional information contact


Russia Experts Available to Comment on Sochi Winter Olympics Issues

The lead-up to the 2014 Winter Olympic Games, Feb. 6-23 in Sochi, Russia, has been plagued by controversy. Politicians and athletes are outraged over Russia’s anti-gay stance, recent suicide bombings in the country have elevated security concerns and Circassia nationalists are demanding that the Games be cancelled or moved. Villanova Russian Studies and Political Science faculty members can offer an authoritative voice on these issues and many more, including Russian politics, culture and history. For more information and to speak with a Villanova faculty member, please contact

Author David Gilbert Opens 16th Annual Literary Festival

The 16th annual Literary Festival will kick off Jan. 30 with a talk by New York novelist David Gilbert. Author of The Normals and the short story collection Remote Feed, Gilbert will read from his latest novel & Sons. On Feb. 20, Frank Bidart, a National Book Award Finalist for his novel, Metaphysical Dog, will speak. All festival events include a book signing and reception, and are free and open to the public. For details about these and other Literary Festival events click here.

Immigration Event Highlights Center for Peace and Justice Education Lecture Series

Villanova’s Center for Peace and Justice Education has announced a full slate of lectures for the Spring Semester on a wide array of current social justice issues. Leading the schedule of events is a Jan. 22 program titled, “Immigration and the Dream” that will feature a panel of DREAMers, unauthorized youth brought to this country as children, sharing their stories of hope for citizenship. A brief film on the subject produced by a Villanova social justice documentary class will be screened at the event. For more information click here.


Marketing Faculty Expert Available to Comment on Super Bowl Advertisements

It’s often noted that many viewers tune in to football’s ultimate contest, the Super Bowl, not as much to watch the game as to check out its state of the art commercials. Villanova School of Business Marketing Professor Charles R. Taylor, an expert on major event advertising, can comment on what to expect when Super Bowl XLVIII airs on Feb. 2. To schedule an interview contact

Villanova School of Business Launches Undergraduate Mentoring Program

Having the benefit of a mentor from the professional world can give college students preparing to join the job market a big career boost. The newly launched Villanova School of Business (VSB) Mentoring Program, which will pair undergraduates with volunteer alumni mentors, is designed to enhance the connection between the classroom and the professional world. To learn more, click here.

The Center for Church Management Celebrates its 10th Anniversary

The Center for Church Management and Business Ethics, housed within the Villanova School of Business (VSB) will celebrate its 10th anniversary this year. In conjunction with the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate at Georgetown University – which is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year – the Center for Church Management and Business Ethics will hold a conference entitled, “The Catholic Parish in the 21st Century: Challenges and Opportunities.” The conference will take place March 4 in the Villanova Room of the Connelly Center. For more information, click here.


Faculty Earn National Recognition for Data Center Energy Research

Research on data center waste conducted in the Center for Energy-Smart Electronic Systems (ES2) has been selected for inclusion in the 2014 Compendium of Industry-Nominated Technology Breakthroughs. The compendium provides an overview of the outstanding work coming out of National Science Foundation (NSF) Industry/University Cooperative Research Centers (I/UCRC), and is provided to interested members of Congress, White House and congressional staffers, and members of official NSF committees of visitors. For more information click here.

Engineering Teams Spend Winter Break Working on Projects around the World

A group of more than 20 engineering students and faculty made a difference in the lives of those less fortunate during their Winter Break by engaging in service projects around the globe. In the Philippines, students served the needs of families impacted by last fall’s Typhoon Haiyan. Projects in Cambodia included breaking ground for a new school, field-testing a remote control vehicle that detects unexploded ordinances, and addressing needs aimed at alleviating poverty. Students and faculty in the remote district of Wayanad in southwestern India provided technical assistance for a community development center. To learn more click here.

Citizens Bank Park Construction Project Manager to Speak to Villanova Community in February

College of Engineering alumnus John Stranix has left an imprint on some of the region’s largest and most visible landmarks, including Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia. On Feb. 21 he will address the Villanova community as the 2014 Patrick J. Cunningham Jr. and Susan Ward ’80 Endowed Lecture Series speaker. As the founder and president of Stranix Associates, LLC, a highly regarded large-scale project management and owner representation firm, Stranix will speak to “The Reality of Building a Field of Dreams: Project Management as a Key to Success.” For additional information contact


MacDonald Center for Obesity Prevention and Education Partners with Springfield School District

The MacDonald Center for Obesity Prevention and Education (COPE) has partnered with the Springfield School District in Delaware County, Pa. to provide worksite wellness for employees. According to the Center for Disease Control, approximately 66% of employees are overweight or obese. Springfield School District’s Director of Human Resources, Linda Bellace, sought out area registered dietitians who could assist her in programming a worksite wellness program for her staff. COPE was called to action and will provide nutrition seminars on professional development days, lunch n’ learn workshops during the lunch hour, and will be a part of the District’s health fair this spring. For more information, click here.

Health and Human Values Lecture Series Continues with “A Crime So Monstrous: Face-to-Face with Modern Day Slavery”

E. Benjamin Skinner, an author and journalist who studies U.S. and global political economies, has witnessed negotiations for the sale of human beings on four continents. He went undercover at great personal risk, infiltrating trafficking networks and slave sales. His book, A Crime So Monstrous: Face-to-Face with Modern Day Slavery, tells the story of individuals who live in slavery, those who have escaped from bondage, those who own or traffic in slaves, and the mixed political motives of those who seek to combat the crime.  Skinner will speak Feb. 25 at Villanova’s College of Nursing. For more information, click here.


VLS Students Win Asylum for LGBT Russian Client

Two students from Villanova Law’s Clinic for Asylum, Refugee and Emigrant Service (CARES)—Joseph Catuzzi ’14 and Michelle Majkut ’14—scored an important legal victory when they won asylum for an LGBT Russian client in November 2013. Their client, a gay man in his 30s, was granted asylum based on a “well-founded fear of future persecution” due to Russia’s recently enacted anti-gay propaganda law. For more information about CARES click here.

About Villanova University: Since 1842, Villanova University's Augustinian Catholic intellectual tradition has been the cornerstone of an academic community in which students learn to think critically, act compassionately and succeed while serving others. There are more than 10,000 undergraduate, graduate and law students in the University's five colleges -- The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the Villanova School of Business, the College of Engineering, the College of Nursing and the Villanova University School of Law. As students grow intellectually, Villanova prepares them to become ethical leaders who create positive change everywhere life takes them.