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College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Honors Excellence in Writing in the Augustine and Culture Seminar


VILLANOVA, Pa. – The Augustine and Culture Seminar (ACS) in Villanova University’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences honored excellence in writing Friday, May 1 in Picotte Hall at Dundale on the Villanova campus.

The Margaret Cecilia Baney Award for the Augustine and Culture Prize Essay was presented to Alexandra Brodin ‘18 for her paper, “Analysis of Creation and the Role of Time Based on the Confessions”, written for her professors, Alan Pichanick, PhD and Angela DiBenedetto, PhD.

Receiving honorable mention were students Caitlyn Dittmeier ‘18 for her paper, “Icons: A Living and Symbolic Tradition,” written for Noël Dolan, MA;  Ashley Dunton ‘18 for her paper “A Play on Words,” written for Kaley Carpenter, PhD; and Abbigail Jurgens ‘18 for her paper, “Margaery Kempe’s Transformation: Inspired by St. Francis Assisi,” written for Rebecca Winer, PhD.

The Seamus Heaney Award for the Honors Program Augustine and Culture Prize Essay was awarded to Claire Ferry ‘18 for her essay,“ ‘And So he Plays His Part…’,” written for her professor, Catherine Staples. Honorable mention went to Emily Folse ’18 for her paper “Ivan Ilyich and The Organization Kid,” for Mark Shiffman, PhD.

The Robert Russell, OSA, Augustine Award for the Augustine and Culture Prize Essay on St. Augustine was given to Joseph Asprea ’18 for his paper “Augustine’s Analysis of his Pear Theft,” for James Murdoch, PhD.

ACS is a two-semester seminar which introduces all first-year Villanova students to some of the greatest texts of western culture. The title invokes St. Augustine as a model for the fearless pursuit of wisdom. The aim of ACS is to explore enduring questions with students about life, humanity, God and truth, through books which over the centuries continue to challenge readers.

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 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. For more, visit