VILLANOVA, Pa.—Two Villanova University students—Bridget Gile ’19 COE and Andrew Lee ’19 COE—are among the 68 students from around the world selected as part of the 2019 cohort of Knight-Hennessy Scholars at Stanford University. The largest fully endowed scholars program in the world, the Knight-Hennessy Scholars program curates a multidisciplinary community of scholars, offers a platform for purposeful leadership development, and empowers its Scholars to effect large-scale positive impact in the world. Both Gile and Lee have been accepted to PhD programs, in civil and environmental engineering and in materials science and engineering respectively, at Stanford School of Engineering.
“I am tremendously proud that two Villanova students have been named Knight-Hennessy Scholars,” said Patrick G. Maggitti, PhD, Villanova University Provost. “The mission of the Knight-Hennessy Scholars program mirrors our Villanova mission in that it seeks to empower students to effectuate wide-ranging, positive impact in their communities and around the world. We congratulate Bridget and Andrew on this prestigious honor.”
The Knight-Hennessy Scholars Program develops a community of future global leaders to address complex challenges through collaboration and innovation. Every year, up to 100 high-achieving students from around the world will receive full funding to pursue any graduate degree at Stanford. In addition to pursuing graduate studies, Knight-Hennessy Scholars participate in experiential learning through the King Global Leadership Program, which provides a collection of community experiences, workshops, meetings with leaders, global study trips and personal development opportunities. The program’s academic founder is John Hennessy ’73 COE, a Villanova alumnus who is the chairman of Alphabet Inc. and was president of Stanford from 2000 to 2016. His co-founder is Phil Knight, philanthropist and Chairman emeritus of Nike Inc. For more information, visit the Knight-Hennessy Scholars website.
About Villanova’s 2019 Hennessy-Knight Scholars
- Bridget Gile, of Morris, Illinois, will graduate this spring with a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering. A Presidential Scholar at Villanova, Bridget aspires to solve critical water resources challenges and become director of the US Environmental Protection Agency Water Infrastructure Division. She interned at the Villanova Center for Resilient Water Systems, at AKRF Water Resources in Philadelphia, and at LyondellBasell in Illinois; and was a research fellow at the National Science Foundation’s REU programs at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and at Virginia Tech. At Villanova, she was vice president of the Villanova Environmental Group, and president of Peers Enhancing Educational Resources for Students, a tutoring and mentoring program.
- Andrew Lee, from Leonardtown, Maryland, will graduate this spring with a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering with minors in mathematics and physics. Andrew aspires to meet the challenges of climate change and the energy crisis by developing novel materials that fuel the next generation of global energy processes. At Villanova, he was a research assistant in the Mechanical Engineering Department and a coordinator in the Math Learning Resource Center. Internationally, he surveyed jungle terrain for clean water systems in Nicaragua and developed a system to passively collect water as part of the GIANT Internship Program in France. As a PATHWAYS intern in the Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division, Andrew advanced understanding of corrosion prevention.
Competitive scholarship and fellowship applications are supported by Villanova’s Center for Research and Fellowships (CRF) within the Office of the Provost. The recent rise in national scholarships, fellowships and awards won by Villanova applicants corresponds to the increasing efforts by CRF to provide both one-on-one consultations and group support for students throughout the application process, including conceptualization of projects, writing and revising proposals, and interview preparation and practice. Villanova students and alumni interested in applying for external awards should visit the CRF website for more information.
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 M. Louise Fitzpatrick College of Nursing, the College of Professional Studies and the Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law. Ranked among the nation’s top universities, Villanova supports its students’ intellectual growth and prepares them to become ethical leaders who create positive change everywhere life takes them. For more, visit the University's website.