University Lectures and Events

  • Women Building Peace in Rwanda: Through the Women Building Peace Project, Pascasie Musabyemungu, of CRS Rwanda, empowers women to break down stereotypes and learn to live and work together. She works with all those in need to build peaceful, healthy communities in her home country of Rwanda. She visited during Lent to share stories of people whose lives have improved dramatically since they began participating in CRS programs. ACS Approved (3/11/16)
  • Microfinance in Madagascar: CRS’ Smart Skills Approach, Co-sponsored by Villanova Center for Global Leadership, Villanova Partnership with Catholic Relief Services, Business Without Borders and International Business Society. Tom Shaw, CRS' Senior Advisor for Microfinance, shared his experience and insights on how Savings and Internal Lending Communities (SILC) are creating economic opportunities for more than 1.5 million people living in the world's most impoverished areas. SILC is helping community members (especially women) form groups, pool their savings, and make loans to each other. Shaw also shared his experience with current microfinance projects in Madagascar and discussed with students job opportunities in international development in general and with CRS. (2/24/16)
  • Careers in International Development Day, November 16, 2015, A day designed for students searching for a profession that will use their education, talents and passion to positively impact global poverty, inequality, climate change, and world peace. Professionals working in US government foreign service, social entrepreneurship, foundations, global health, microfinance, humanitarian engineering, impact investing, geospatial technologies, the UN and others shared their career paths, the work that they and others do, and offered career advice on how to break into the field and get a foot in the door.  Students also met with recruiters from top graduate programs in international development, overseas volunteer agencies, and representatives of Villanova’s curricular and extra-curricular to help with next steps.  Sponsored by the CRS University Partnership; College of Nursing Center for Global and Public Health; The Career Center; VSB Center for Global Leadership, Villanova School of Business; College of Liberal Arts and Sciences; College of Engineering; Office for Mission and Ministry; Southeastern Pennsylvania Consortium for Higher Education. (250 persons attended including SEPCHE schools) Event Program
  • The Syrian & Iraqi Refugee Crisis Forum, Co-Sponsored by The Law School Clinic for Asylum, Refugee and Emigrant Services · Villanova University Partnership with Catholic Relief Services · Center for Global and Public Health: Topics Discussed: The Migration Path , Push Factors, Laws Governing Protection, Adjudicating Refugee Cases, Impact of the Refugees on the Region, What We Can Do; Michele R. Pistone, Esq., Professor of Law, Director, Clinic for Asylum, Refugee and Emigrant Services (CARES) Villanova University; Fr. Kail C. Ellis, Assistant to the President of the University and Dean Emeritus of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, and the founder-director of Villanova’s Center for Arab and Islamic Studies; Sandy Hmouz, a former UNHCR Protection Officer stationed in the Middle East; “Z” (cannot use his real name) a Syrian and a client of the CARES Clinic who is applying for asylum in the U.S.; Kathleen O’Hora,  the Global Health and Migration Coordinator for the CRS Ambassadors working with the Ambassadors to educate and mobilize the university community on the Syrian and Iraqi Refugee Crisis.  ACS Approved (10/21/15)

Faculty Development

  • Faculty/Administration Workshop Fall 2015: Villanova's Collaboration with CRS in Madagascar
    The purpose of the workshop was to inform attendees of the progress of the initiatives thus far and discuss how the relationship will demonstrate not only our ability to collaborate and integrate knowledge across disciplines and colleges, but how working in partnership with CRS-MG, can harness the power of the university to contribute toward improving the lives of the world’s poorest and most vulnerable populations. We will work to create interdisciplinary projects and activities of mutual interest and collaboration on CRS’s existing and ongoing programs in Madagascar, which are carried out through its project team, CRS Madagascar.  Such activities will further the instructional and research objectives for students and their colleges. (35 adminstrators/faculty/staff attended)

Curriculum Faculty Learning Commons (FLC) Sessions

  • Fall 2015
    • Climate Change, the World’s Vulnerable, and the Demands of Justice (2 classes participated)
      • Session 1 - The Road to Paris and Beyond - A Primer on Climate Change Policy, Action, and Ethics
      • Session 2 - Climate Change in the World’s Most Vulnerable Places - Innovations in Adaptation
  • Spring 2016
    • Fair and Ethical Trade: Examining Impact and Reimagining a Just Economy ( classes participated)
      • Session I - Fair Trade and Ethical Trade: State of the Movement
      • Session II - ICT4D - Fair Trade Impact: Coffee as a Case Study

CRS Ambassador Events and Internships

  • Run For Refugees: Catholic Relief Services Ambassadors held a run (walk) in solidarity with refugees fleeing violence and persecution around the world. There was guest speakers to kick off the event and some exceptional educational experiences throughout. The proceeds of the $10 dollar donation to race went to CRS programs that provide direct aid and relief to refugees.
  • CRS Rice Bowl: Villanova's CRS Ambassadors put their faith into action, raising awareness and funds for those brothers and sisters living in poverty around the world. (Lenten Season)
  • Fair Trade Rose Sale: Roses were sold for Valentine's Day to raise awareness and support Fair Trade. (2/14/16)
  • Season of Solidarity: Interfaith Vigil for Syrian and Iraqi Refugees As part of Villanova's ongoing commitment to meet the urgent and ongoing needs of populations experiencing forced migration, the CRS Ambassadors held an Interfaith Vigil to learn, reflect and come together as a Villanova community in support of Refugees fleeing conflict in the Middle East. Speakers included: Villanova CRS Student Ambassadors, Zaid - a refugee who fled Syria two years ago, Mari - a CRS employee who worked to create child friendly spaces in Lebanon, Father Kail Ellis - Former Academic Vice president of Villanova who also spent the summer in Beirut, Lebanon and Danielle Corea- CRS employee from the regional office located in Radnor, PA   ACS Approved (12/2/15)
  • I am Climate Change Rally: Following Pope Francis' call for climate change the CRS Ambassadors advocated for climate change during the rally and delivered letters to Representative Meehan that Villanova students and staff wrote urging him to prioritize addressing climate change through initiatives like the Green Climate Fund. (9/24/15)

  • Benjamin Bogardus '16 (GS Sustainable Engineering), Sean Carney '17, (Mechanical Engineering), Morgan Gruenewald 16, (Political Science and Economics), Stephanie Krakower '18, (Civil & Environmental Engineering), Tara Malanga '16, (Biology and French),  Kerby Souffrant '16, (Mechanical Engineering) - CRS Internship in Madagascar, Summer, 2015
  • Sajid Hossain '16 (Electrical Engineering), CRS Northeast/Regional Office, Fall 2015

CRS Employment

Jerica Youngken, '08 - CRS Program Analyst International Trade and Development

Collaborative Agreement with Villanova University and CRS Madagascar

On October 27, 2015 Villanova University and Catholic Relief Services signed a collaborative agreement on activities related to CRS' programming in Madagascar that includes: improving the health and nutrition of pregnant women and children, increasing and diversifying household incomes, alleviating the impact of natural disasters, and accessing clean water, sanitation, and hygiene.