Skip to main content

NOVA NEWS: November at Villanova

Highlighting programs and events across the University

Nydick Family Commons

Nova News takes a monthly look at news and events across the University. This edition of Nova News highlights the 26th annual Special Olympics Fall Festival taking place at Villanova Nov. 7-9, a $2 million gift from a Villanova faculty member to the University’s Capital Campaign, as well as upcoming Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week events on campus. Featured faculty experts from a variety of academic departments and disciplines are highlighted as sources available to discuss a wide range of news topics, from Ebola to holiday eating habits. Read on to learn more about what’s happening in November at Villanova.


Villanova University to Host 26th Annual Special Olympics Fall Festival

The Special Olympics Pennsylvania Fall Festival is hosted and organized by Villanova University students and is the largest annual student-run Special Olympics event in the world. Comprised of 90 dedicated students, the Special Olympics committee works year round to organize all aspects of the Festival. This year’s Fall Festival will be held Nov. 7-9 and will bring more than 1,500 athletes, coaches and partners to Villanova’s campus. In addition, more than 2,000 volunteers from the Villanova student body and the surrounding community are expected to participate in the event. For more information, click here.

Villanova Receives $2 Million Commitment from VSB Professor as part of Capital Campaign

Villanova University has received a $2 million commitment from Villanova School of Business (VSB) Professor Robert L. Nydick, PhD, his wife, Susan, and their sons, Robert III and Gregory, as part of the University’s $600 million Comprehensive Capital Campaign, “For the Greater Great: The Villanova Campaign to Ignite Change.” Designated for VSB, the Nydick’s gift will establish The Nydick Family Business Analytics Fund, and create The Nydick Family Commons in Bartley Hall – home of the Villanova School of Business. For more information, click here.

Villanova Continues Legacy of Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week Nov. 15-22

The long shadow of hunger and homelessness stretches across every community – from the affluent to the impoverished. Each year Villanova attempts to shine a spotlight on the plight of those struggling to survive under these conditions through Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week. The nation-wide, campus initiative, which began at Villanova University in 1975 under the leadership of Augustinian priest Fr. Ray Jackson, OSA, includes academic discussions, food and clothing drives, and a “Solidarity Sleep Out.” To learn more click here.

Villanova Presents Mary Ann Glendon with Civitas Dei Medal

With the Civitas Dei Medal, Villanova University recognizes Catholics who, through their work, have made exemplary contributions to the Catholic intellectual tradition and have shown particular commitment to the pursuit of truth, beauty and goodness. Villanova’s third annual Civitas Dei Medal will be presented to Mary Ann Glendon, J.D., LL.M. Nov. 5. Glendon is a former U.S. Ambassador to the Holy See, and currently is a member of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom. For more information, click here.

Villanova Theatre Presents “Big Love,” by Charles L. Mee, Nov. 11 – 23

Villanova Theatre opens its second play of the season, Nov. 11 with Charles L. Mee’s “Big Love.” Fifty brides flee 50 grooms and seek refuge at a villa on the coast of Italy in this wild wedding of mythic proportions. When the would-be husbands descend upon their reluctant brides, the women hatch a plan to fend off a full-on amorous assault and escape their ill-fated marriages once and for all. The New York Times calls Big Love “a fable (as in fabulous), a myth (its origin), an MGM musical in technicolor, a circus and, believe it, a Greek tragedy.” For more information, click here.


Nobel Prize Winner, Renowned Geologist and PBS Host, Richard Alley, PhD, to Visit Villanova Nov. 4- 5

The Villanova Center for Energy and Environmental Education (VCE3) will welcome renowned Nobel Prize winner Richard Alley, PhD, for two lectures at 2 p.m. on both Nov. 4 and 5 in the Connelly Center Cinema. Titled “Energy, the Environment, and Our Future: Some Good News” and “Crumbling at the Edges: Ice Sheets and Sea-Level Rise,” respectively, the lectures will engage the Villanova campus and local community in discussions on glaciology, climate change and a way towards a sustainable future. Alley is one of several Penn State earth scientists who are contributors to the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which shared the 2007 Nobel Prize with Al Gore. The lectures are free and open to the public. For more information, click here.

Villanova Strengthens Ties to Ireland with Visit from Irish Senator and Director of the Abbey Theatre

Irish Senator and Director of the Abbey Theatre in Dublin, Fiach MaConghail, will visit campus Nov. 10 to present a lecture titled, “Irish Theater Today.” MaConghail will discuss the history of the Abbey Theatre, Ireland’s National Theatre, and share highlights from his career which includes over 100 productions by celebrated Irish playwrights. The lecture starts at 7:30 p.m. in Driscoll Hall Room 132, and is free and open to the public. The University and the Abbey Theatre are partners in a distinctive theatre exchange program that enables Villanova students to participate in the Abbey Theatre Summer Studio. To learn more, click here.

Professor’s Education research featured in film on Budget Cuts in Philadelphia’s Schools

Jerusha Conner, PhD, assistant professor of Education and Counseling, was recently featured in the short documentary, “An Education in Equality: The Budget Cuts in Philadelphia’s Schools.” The film, by Philadelphia High School for Girls’ student Darniesha Pressly, was nominated for a WHYY Youth Media Award. In the film, Dr. Conner speaks about recent findings from her research on student voice and education reform in Philadelphia and explains how city school closings disproportionately affect low-income students of color. To speak with Dr. Conner about her research contact Media Relations.


Villanova School of Business Professor Available to Comment on Holiday Eating

Dr. Beth Vallen, assistant professor of marketing, has performed detailed research that compares the way dieters and non-dieters respond to holiday eating cues. In her research, she finds that dieters are able to resist holiday indulgences better than they can resist everyday temptations. To speak with Dr. Vallen about holiday eating habits, please contact Media Relations.

Innovative New Course Teaches “Art of Value Investing”

“The Art of Value Investing,” an innovative new course developed by a Villanova School of Business professor, invites high-level value investors into the classroom to provide insight into how they manage investment portfolios and companies. Over the course of a semester, students hear from 14 practitioners, giving them a widespread insider’s look into investment management. To learn more click here.


Villanova Engineering Professor Participates in White House Climate Conference

Dr. Bridget Wadzuk, Associate Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, represented Villanova University and the Villanova Urban Stormwater Partnership (VUSP) at a recent White House conference on the President's Climate and Natural Resources Priority Agenda. VUSP was invited to attend the conference through its association with the Middle Atlantic Green Infrastructure Consortium, which is a member of the Administration's Green Infrastructure Collaborative. For more information, contact

Villanova Hosts 24-Hour Android Hackathon Extreme Coding Challenge, Nov. 8-9

Students from Philadelphia area colleges will converge on Villanova’s campus Nov. 8-9 to compete in the Villanova College of Engineering’s Second Annual 24-hour Android Hackathon. Popular on college campuses nationwide, Hackathons provide forums for programmers to collaborate and compete in coding while on extreme deadline. Participants in the Hackathon form teams that vie to create winning Android apps in one weekend. To learn more, click here.

Aspiring Villanova University Entrepreneurs Compete in Third Annual 24-Hour Imagination Quest Weekend, Nov. 15-16

Aspiring student entrepreneurs will face off Nov. 15-16 at Villanova’s Imagination Quest, a fast-paced 24-hour competition that combines aspects of The Amazing Race, Shark Tank, The Apprentice and Fear Factor television shows. Co-sponsored by Villanova’s Engineering Entrepreneurship Program and the Center for Innovation, Creativity and Entrepreneurship in the Villanova School of Business, the third annual event challenges student teams to use their imaginations and have fun while applying the concepts of brainstorming, marketing, prototype development and presentation skills. To learn more, click here.


Villanova Nursing Professor Available to Discuss Ebola, Other Infectious Diseases

The Ebola outbreak that began in West Africa has reached U.S. soil, and Americans are quickly learning more about the deadly disease. With the increased focus on infectious diseases, experts are emphasizing what can be done to prevent the spread of contagious illnesses. Theresa Capriotti, DO, MSN, CRNP, RN, a clinical assistant professor in Villanova’s College of Nursing, is available to discuss the tools and protocols needed for healthcare workers to safely care for ill patients. For more information, contact Media Relations.

College of Nursing Presents 36th Annual Distinguished Lecture in Nursing, “Strategies for Building a Quality and Safety Culture”

On Thursday, Nov. 20, Linda Cronenwett, PhD, RN, FAAN, of University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, will present a lecture on “Strategies for Building a Quality and Safety Culture.” Dr. Cronenwett recently completed seven years as principal investigator of a national initiative, Quality and Safety Education for Nurses (QSEN), with four phases of funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The QSEN project focuses on enhancing nursing curricula and fostering faculty development to support student achievement of quality and safety competencies including: Patient-Centered Care, Teamwork & Collaboration, Evidence Based Practice, Quality Improvement, Safety and Informatics. For more information, click here.


Villanova School of Law Hosts Financing Growth Businesses Lecture Series, Nov. 20

Venture capital has fueled the growth of most of the top-performing technology companies in the U.S., and has created more than 11 million jobs. In a Nov. 20 lecture titled, “Venture Capital”, Brian Sisko, CCO of Safeguard Scientifics, one of the oldest and most successful technology investors in the region, will focus on the structure and key terms of venture capital investments. Sisko has more than 25 years of experience working with start-up and growth-stage companies having served as an executive officer, investor, external legal counsel, internal counsel, and consultant. For more information, click here.


Utilize Villanova’s New On-Campus Broadcast Capabilities for TV/Radio Interviews

Villanova has recently expanded its on-campus broadcast capabilities to include a television studio with a VYVX uplink, making live or taped interviews quick and easy. In addition, Villanova can offer broadcast quality audio interviews via IP Codec. For media interested in learning more about Villanova’s faculty experts, click here.

About Villanova: 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 six colleges – the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the Villanova School of Business, the College of Engineering, the College of Nursing, the College of Professional Studies 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.