Villanova University President's Report
Focus on Analyzing Tech's Power and Portent
Innovations and new trends create incredible potential—and unforeseen implications. The world continues to accelerate through technology, and Villanova faculty address the ramifications and contribute to the understanding of technical advancements and their impact on households, workplaces and society at large.
Smart Tech Requires Even Smarter Users
The Internet can break down boundaries, but it can also be harmful to society in an age of fake news and clickbait advertisements. Separating truth from fiction in a digital space is difficult, as information on the web moves at lightning speed. That is why experts like Stephen J. Andriole, PhD, the Thomas G. Labrecque Professor of Business Technology, are vital thought leaders in a digital age.
With decades of experience in government, academia and industry, Dr. Andriole has been a leading figure in technology. He designed the Early Warning and Monitoring System, a computer-based system used by the US government during President Ronald Reagan’s administration for crisis forecasting. He was also the principal architect of the investment strategy of venture capital firm Safeguard Scientifics Inc. and its partner companies, which were valued at more than $100 billion.
At Villanova, Dr. Andriole teaches emerging business technologies, management consulting, and innovation and entrepreneurialism, drawing on his broad and deep body of scholarship. In all, he has written more than 30 books, including the forthcoming The Innovator’s Imperative: Rapid Technology Adoption for Digital Transformation, written in collaboration with Villanova undergraduate students.
Dr. Andriole has also penned hundreds of articles, exploring every corner of information technology in an ongoing column in Forbes. He has covered the future of technology, fake news on digital media platforms and the impact of artificial intelligence on the workplace, among other topics.
“The pace of technology change and the rapid adoption of emerging technology represent amazing social, economic and political progress,” he wrote in Forbes. “So what’s the problem? The distance between digital joy and pain is widening.”
Navigating Intellectual Property and Internet Law
Recognized internationally for his legal prowess, Michael Risch, JD, professor of Law at the Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law, focuses his scholarship specifically on the labyrinth of intellectual property questions that have emerged as technology has advanced.
Professor Risch, who is also associate dean of Faculty Research and Development at Villanova Law, has had his scholarship cited repeatedly by the US Supreme Court and legal briefings in intellectual property cases and has provided expert advice to attorneys, litigants and investors.
In addition, he is a go-to expert for the media, where he comments on topics as diverse as high-profile trademark, patent and copyright, internet and technology regulation, and legislation for media outlets, including NPR, Bloomberg News, Reuters, The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post. In 2016, he provided commentary and expert analysis to multiple media outlets on Apple v. Samsung, which was the first case involving design patents to be heard by the US Supreme Court in more than 120 years.
Bette Mariani, PhD, RN, ANEF, ’82, associate professor
INNOVATION IN NURSING EDUCATION
A Villanova Nursing professor has developed several innovative, technology-based teaching-learning strategies designed to prepare nurses to take steps to prevent errors in hospital and clinical settings, and to promote a culture of safety among Villanova nurses. Bette Mariani, PhD, RN, ANEF, ’82, associate professor, and her colleagues used clinical simulation as a teaching-learning strategy to enhance future nurses’ learning, reasoning and clinical judgment. She co-authored an article, published in Nursing Education Perspectives, exploring the effectiveness of prerecorded scenarios and a simulated physical scenario to teach safe practice behaviors to nursing students.
TECHNOLOGY RESHAPES THE WAY OF BUSINESS
A leader and valued expert on critical legal and ethical issues in technology, Peggy Chaudhry, PhD, wrote about the risk of malware related to the illegal trade of digital content on the internet for Business Horizons. Dr. Chaudhry, associate professor of Management and Operations in the Villanova School of Business, found demand for widespread internet access is generating supply chains of illicit content, which creates opportunities for website builders to infect users’ computers with software that can steal personal data or harvest it for others’ use.
Henry Carter, PhD, assistant professor of Computer Science
NEW SOFTWARE THWARTS RANSOMWARE CYBERATTACKS
Cyberattacks continue to plague companies and the government, threatening the private and public sectors’ security. To combat a burgeoning type of breach, Henry Carter, PhD, assistant professor of Computer Science, partnered with University of Florida researchers to build software called CryptoDrop to detect the presence of “ransomware,” which holds files hostage until the user sends a sum of money. In experimental evaluations, CryptoDrop proved 100 percent successful in identifying and preventing a ransomware attack.
CAN DEVICES REPROGRAM THEIR USERS?
Re-Engineering Humanity, a forthcoming book co-authored by a prominent scholar at Villanova Law, is raising intriguing questions about how the technology humans own can own them instead. Brett Frischmann, JD, who joined Villanova in 2017 as the first Charles Widger Endowed University Professor in Law, Business and Economics, examines in the book the possibility that human minds are being programmed to act like simple machines. Professor Frischmann, who in his new role at Villanova will promote collaboration, cross-campus research and cross-disciplinary innovation, is also a leading expert in intellectual property and internet law.
UNDERSTANDING TECHNOLOGY’S EARLIEST ADOPTERS
Youth are often the first adopters of new technology, and Amy Way, PhD, assistant professor of Communication, is providing essential insights into the complex ways that they interact with the online world. Dr. Way analyzed 700 articles on youth and communication online to evaluate the direction of future research. Her work, published in Review of Communication, creates a strong foundation upon which communication scholars can build, diversifying research that will move beyond an adult-centered view of trends and encompass how younger generations engage with technology.