Micah Edwards

"Professional golfer Phil Mickelson once said, 'A college education is important no matter what you do in life.'  I am not an avid golf watcher, but I can say that Phil Mickelson has been correct so far on his assessment of college. My first year of college has been full of ups and downs (mostly ups), and I have learned quite a few life lessons.

Here goes ...

  • Following your heart will bring you true happiness
  • Doing schoolwork in bits and pieces along the way works way better
  • Working with friends is always a better way to study - you will most likely share a good laugh and it makes the work load seem less painful with two brains working together
  • Coming to college, you will work hard and study often, but remember that anything in life taken to an extreme is never healthy...during second semester I learned that enjoying myself, playing basketball and socializing with friends, actually increased how hard I studied and how focused I was when I sat down to do my work -- it increased my overall happiness
  • Feeling happy allowed me to do my best work" ~ Micah Edwards, EG, Class of 2016


Christian Bruni

"I truly believe that the leadership learning community played a large role in the success of my Freshman year, and without it, I do not believe that my year would have been as great as it has been. Through my work in the leadership learning community, I was inspired to apply to the service learning community for sophomore year, and I am thrilled to be have been accepted into the program, so that I can continue my time in a learning community environment. As a tour guide on campus, I always highly recommend the learning communities to all prospective students, and I truly hope that all will take advantage of this great opportunity!"  ~ Christian Bruni, A&S, Class of 2014

Kristin Shannon


"I loved the environmental learning community since I was able to learn how our campus is trying to become greener and more sustainable. We went off-campus, too, on field trips that were both informative and interesting. Also, I know that some of the people I met will be close friends of mine for years to come." ~ Kristen Shannon, Engineering, Class of 2012

Kathryn Rodesky

"Living in a Learning Community as a freshman has made my transition to college life that much easier!  While our dorm is smaller than most, it has proven to be the perfect channel for meeting some of my closest friends at Villanova.  There is always something going on from “Glee Watching Parties” to “Milk and Cookie Nights,” in an effort to further promote a true sense of community!  All the residents are placed in the same ACS class, giving us an even greater opportunity to get to know each other, and our professor, Dr. Daly, has taken us on several off-campus excursions including walking tours of Philadelphia, a visit to the Curtis Institute, and even a trip to the Eastern State Penitentiary!  In addition, being a member of a learning community as a first year student, gives me the chance to continue my experience in London this summer with the “Learning Communities Abroad” program!"
~ Kathryn Rodesky, VSB, Class of 2015

John Szot


"My time in the Art and Culture Learning Community was one I would not exchange for anything. Not only was it an engaging and informative experience that combined the experiential portion of the 4th Hour with the academics in the classroom, but it also became a second family of sorts that helped me seamlessly navigate the transition between high school and college. The friends I made through my Learning Community are some of my closest companions and I have no doubt will continue to be throughout the rest of my time here at Villanova."
~ John Szot, A&S, Class of 2014

Christopher Hamrick

"As a freshman, I benefited in so many ways by being part of the learning community within Moriarty Hall. When I first arrived, I was immediately integrated with a group of students who I both learned from and was educated with in our ACS class. The highlight of the year was a guided tour of Philadelphia from our amazing ACS professor, seeing all the historic sights of the city so close by. The Moriarty learning community was the difference between a good and a great freshman year, and I would recommend it to any and all incoming freshmen!"
~ Christopher D. Hamrick, A& S, Class of 2014

Teresa Yang

"I am incredibly glad that I participated in the Healthy Living learning community.  I decided to participate in Healthy Living because I am a nursing major and because it was important for me to keep up healthy habits when I came to college.  Not only did I learn about different aspects of health (including physical, mental, and financial health), I met many of my close friends through my learning community.  As a freshman, getting adjusted to college life is sometimes overwhelming.  Having my learning community classmates and facilitator to lean on for support was definitely great to have for my first year. I would recommend this experience to anyone considering it!" ~ Teresa Yang, Nursing, Class of 2015

"Participating in the Pursuit of Excellence Learning Community was, for me, the most exciting way to begin my college career. From personal and serious class discussions to excursions to Chinatown, the learning community helped me forge some of the strongest relationships I have here at Villanova." ~ Brendan Farrell, A&S, Class of 2013                     

Brendan Krovatin

"The art & culture learning community was a great experience as a freshman. The friendships I made in that class will last throughout my college career and I will sincerely miss seeing those people every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. What was great about the art & culture learning community was that it gave me an opportunity to explore the different kinds of arts with people who were equally as interested in the arts. One thing I greatly enjoyed about the community was the fourth hour class and the trips to the Villanova theatre.  I would recommend it to anyone who loves the arts or someone who wants to become more involved." ~ Brendan Krovatin, A&S, Class of 2015

Sarah Clark

"Becoming a member of the Environmental Leadership Learning Community was the best decision I could have made as an incoming freshman!  I become friends with a variety of students from different backgrounds, and also met my new roommate.  Fourth hour was not only a relaxing and fun setting, but also a time of reflection that greatly helped in my transition from high school student to college freshman.  Through this learning community I learned about environmental issues in the surrounding area and how Villanova is currently involved in the green movement.  This was nothing but a positive experience and I recommend joining this community to all incoming students!"
~ Sarah Clark, A&S, Class of 2015

Samantha Butwill

"Living in the Environmental Learning community was a wonderful experience as a freshman, because it presented me with an abundance of opportunities to become engaged in what I am passionate about, environmentalism. Learning about various philosophers and historical figure’s perspectives of how humans should interact with the earth helped me to solidify and learn how to verbalize and defend my own views. Also, through various field trips and presentations I feel as though I am much more aware of environmental initiatives in the local and broader communities."
~ Samantha Butwill, Engineering, Class of 2015

Shannon Markert

"It may sound silly, but my decision to enroll in the Healthy Living Learning Community has been one of the best I've ever made! I have grown so much as a person since the start of my freshman year and Healthy Living definitely contributed to my progression. I learned so much about living a healthy life and about myself. I met so many great people and the facilitators are awesome  -- they are incredibly helpful if you ever need someone to talk to. It was an amazing experience that I would repeat in a heartbeat!"
~ Shannon Markert, Nursing, Class of 2015

"If I could only give one piece of advice to incoming Freshmen it would simply be to join a learning community! The way this program integrates close community that can only be created in a residence hall room with intellectual connection formed in the classroom has created an experience that has made my class work more engaging and has brought my friendships to a deeper level." ~Lilly Rizzo, A&S, Class of 2014                        

Ciara Sprance

"The first thing I remember about freshman year was the heady, dizzying fear I had when I began it. At the last minute, it was that fear that drove me to join the Art and Culture learning community, a sort of last-ditch attempt to ground myself. It wasn't until months later, when I found myself finally fulfilling a dream by attending the opera that I realized what that "fear" actually was. For as I stood surrounded by the very splendor of the opera house, looking around at the incredible people I shared this class, this experience with, I had that very same heady, dizzying feeling -- only this time, I knew it for what it was: joy." ~ Ciara Sprance, A&S, Class of 2015

"The people in my learning community lived together in Delurey Hall and made up our ACS class. Having class together brought me closer with my hall-mates, and allowed me to learn alongside them. Together we tackled different topics about the "Pursuit of Excellence" and shared open discussions about its relation to different texts. ACS class and living together in Delurey really brought us together, and I have found my best friends at Villanova in this learning community." ~ Michele Engelbert, A&S, Class of 2013

"The Leadership Learning Community, as with all the LC’s, provides an academic and social expansion in your first year at college. Academically, the one credit class you take is very rewarding. Specifically, the Leadership credit I took in St. Monica’s involved group work and activities that prioritized teamwork and taught us how to be leaders. In my opinion the social aspect was of equal, if not more, importance. I have made a few very close friends within my leadership class, and all of my best friends at school (including my roommate for next semester) are within the leadership community. I will always have a significant amount of pride in this community. A good example of the bonds you will make outside the classroom is exemplified in my winter ski trip. I went with four friends to Killington, Vermont for four nights; each of them lives on my floor in St. Monica’s."  ~ Kristopher Nelson, A&S, Class of 2015

"The Environmental Leadership Learning Community is an excellent opportunity for freshmen to bond with a small group while gaining awareness about human's treatment of the environment. Not previously knowing any student before attending Villanova, the same thirteen students in ACS and fourth hour learning community class united by participating in these classes, working on group projects, and attending environmental awareness workshops and field trips. Also, after delving into environmental issues such as overfishing, global warming, deforestation and alternative energy, I am pursuing an environmental studies minor that I thought would never occur prior to Villanova."  
~ Joe Piro, Engineering, Class of 2015

"In my experience with the environmental learning community, I learned that many of my Villanova peers share similar concerns and are willing to work together to raise awareness for an environmental issue and take action. We learned a lot about each other, made strong connections with VU faculty members, and received valuable guidance from our upperclassmen facilitators, all in a relaxing setting. The most outstanding moment in my LC experience was working with a group of seven students to blog about the Keystone XL Pipeline and domestic oil drilling on the website tumblr. We blogged daily after coming up with a schedule for posting and revising the blog entries. Ultimately, we saw our hard work come to fruition after submitting our blog to the New York Times contest and winning the grand prize. My LC experience was fantastic because I was able to express my opinions within a small group and make friends with people who shared similar interests with me." ~ Ricky Holden, Engineering, Class of 2015

"I think that the best thing about this Learning Community was that it expanded on a concept I'd known about, but never really delved into before. It introduced me to a lot of the science and philosophy behind the environmentalist movement and the fight for a better, healthier earth."  ~ Rene LaVigne, A&S, Class of 2015