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Villanova Magazine - News - Spring 2017

News Department  

The 175th Celebration Begins

Fireworks in the sky above the Riley Ellipse and Connelly Center

The sights and sounds of Villanova’s launch of its 175th anniversary celebration transformed campus the week of Jan. 15. The kickoff to a year filled with special events included a food drive that yielded 1.75 tons, a dinner à la 1842, an anniversary Mass, a student gala and a winter festival.

NIH Immunologist Receives Mendel Medal

Smiling NIH Immunologist sitting at table during awards ceremony

Members of the Villanova community gathered Nov. 10 to honor the 2016 recipient of the University’s Mendel Medal, Anthony Fauci, MD, a pioneering HIV/AIDS researcher and the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the National Institutes of Health. The next day, Dr. Fauci delivered the Mendel Medal Lecture, in which he described the extraordinary progress in the fight against HIV/AIDS, as well as the remaining challenges.

Trustees Assume New Roles

3 new trustees smiling, two males, one female

Villanova University’s newly elected Board of Trustees officers took up their posts Jan. 1. Joseph V. Topper Jr. ’77 VSB, retired president and CEO of CrossAmerica Partners LLP (on right in the picture), now serves as chairperson; Justin G. Gmelich ’90 VSB, global head of Credit Trading at the Goldman Sachs Group Inc., as vice chair; and Nance K. Dicciani, PhD, ’69 COE, co-founder and CEO of RTM Vital Signs LLC, as secretary. All three trustees have been dedicated members of the board and of the Villanova community. In addition, Kerry Kittles ’96 VSB, ’09 MBA, assistant men’s basketball coach at Princeton University and NBA veteran, was elected to the 34-member board.

Tool Uses Civil War–Era Ads to Reconnect Families

INFORMATION WANTED. Simon Foley desires to learn the where- abouts of his people if any of them are  alive. I left them on the Poplar Hill  plantation near the Antioch church, about  44 years ago. I was then about 11 years  old, and I have forgotten the name of the  county, but it is in the State of Virginia.  My people all belonged to Mr. Enoch Fo- ley. The name of my mother was was  Rachel Foley. My oldest brother s  name was Neut Foley. He was a black- smith. My next brother's name was Doc- tor Foley. My third brother's name was  P O. Foley, I had one sister named Ma- tilda Foley and one named Harriet Foley.  Any information that can be given will  be gladly received. Helena Station, Washington Co, Miss.

After the Civil War, “Information Wanted” ads appeared in African- American publications around the nation as newly freed slaves tried to reunite with loved ones. A collaboration between History graduate students and their professor, Judith Giesberg, PhD, and Mother Bethel AME Church in Philadelphia is making these classified ads easily accessible to the public. “Last Seen: Finding Family After Slavery,” which was featured on the CBS Evening News, offers genealogists and researchers a new tool for telling family stories of separation and survival. The database ( holds names of former slaves, owners, traders, plantation locations and missing relatives.

Top Producer of Fulbrighters

The Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs announced that Villanova was a top producer of 2016–17 Fulbright U.S. Students. The Fulbright Program is the federal government’s flagship international educational exchange program. Top producers were highlighted in The Chronicle of Higher Education.

No. 4 for Online Graduate Business

3 business students discussing a chart on a laptop computer

The Villanova School of Business earned the No. 4 spot in U.S. News & World Report’s annual Best Online Graduate Business Programs ranking. The placement validates VSB’s ability to deliver a high-quality education, regardless of the mode. VSB was also ranked No. 3 for Student Services and Technology, and No. 4 for Student Engagement.

Science Majors to Be Beckman Scholars

The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences received a Beckman Scholars Program Award. One of 11 conferred nationally for 2017 by the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation, the award provides $130,000 to support the science research of five undergraduate students over three years.

Groundbreaking Theologian Honored

Gustavo Gutierrez stands to receive medal from Father Peter

Dominican priest Gustavo Gutiérrez, PhD, the John Cardinal O’Hara Professor of Theology at the University of Notre Dame, received Villanova’s Civitas Dei Medal Nov. 16 in St. Thomas of Villanova Church. A leading thinker in the development of liberation theology in Latin America, Father Gutiérrez also helped to articulate the principle of Catholic social teaching that puts the needs of the poor first. The Rev. Peter M. Donohue, OSA, PhD, ’75 CLAS, University president, along with Barbara Wall, PhD, vice president for Mission and Ministry, presented the medal.

Lilly Endowment Grant for Church Management Center

The Lilly Endowment awarded a $750,000 grant to the Villanova School of Business’ Center for Church Management and Business Ethics, which provides programming to help church leaders be better stewards of their resources. The funding will allow the center to work with seminaries to incorporate financial literacy into curricula.

National Kudos for Sentencing Expert

Professor Steven Chanenson standing with arms crossed and smiling

One of the nation’s foremost experts on criminal sentencing, Professor of Law Steven Chanenson received the National Association of Sentencing Commissions’ Richard P. Kern Memorial Award for his contributions to the development of sentencing policy and research. At Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law, Professor Chanenson teaches courses on sentencing, criminal law and procedure, and white-collar crime.

Lecture Series Named for Nursing Dean

J. Brien Murphy, MD, and his wife, Maggie (left), nurses and colleagues from Main Line Health institutions and Villanova’s College of Nursing enjoyed the first Dr. Louise Fitzpatrick Lecture. Kathryn Bowles, PhD, RN, FAAN, FACMI, ’90 MSN (third from left), M. Louise Fitzpatrick, EdD, RN, FAAN, Connelly Endowed Dean and Professor of Nursing (third from right), Andrea Gilbert, president of Bryn Mawr Hospital (second from right); and Marianne Harkin, vice president of Patient Care Services.

Thanks to the generosity of J. Brien Murphy, MD, and his wife, Maggie (left), nurses and colleagues from Main Line Health institutions and Villanova’s College of Nursing enjoyed the first Dr. Louise Fitzpatrick Lecture. Kathryn Bowles, PhD, RN, FAAN, FACMI, ’90 MSN (third from left) delivered the inaugural talk Nov. 7 at Bryn Mawr Hospital. The lecture series was established to honor M. Louise Fitzpatrick, EdD, RN, FAAN, Connelly Endowed Dean and Professor of Nursing (third from right). Joining in the celebratory evening were Andrea Gilbert, president of Bryn Mawr Hospital (second from right); and Marianne Harkin, vice president of Patient Care Services.

Professor Selected as Fulbright Distinguished Chair

Head shot of Professor Moeness Amin

Moeness Amin, PhD, director of the College of Engineering’s Center for Advanced Communications, was awarded the 2017 Fulbright Distinguished Chair in Advanced Science and Technology. Fulbright Distinguished Chair Awards are among the most prestigious appointments in the Fulbright Scholar Program. Dr. Amin will travel to Australia to collaborate on new applications of radar and communications technologies.

Enhanced EMBA Experience

VSB female professor talking to a class

Beginning September 2017, the Villanova Executive MBA will be offered in 19 months, reducing the completion schedule by two months. EMBA students will stay at the Inn at Villanova University, where their classes will be held. This remodeled venue provides a modern, collaborative environment for working professionals.

Prestigious Scholarships Take Students Abroad

Pablo Guzman ’19, Abbey Smith ’18 and Fares Sukkar ’18, all in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, were awarded the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship to study or intern abroad during the spring semester. Administered by the Institute of International Education, the program gives scholars the opportunity to better understand other cultures, countries, languages and economies.

CPS Customizes Corporate Offerings

Villanova University College of Professional Studies is sought out for its flexible programming on campus and online. CPS also reaches out through an increasing number of corporate education engagements. Most recently, it partnered with two companies to provide on-site training in continuous improvement through the CPS Six Sigma program, which equips organizations to reduce waste and increase output. Both companies have Villanova ties: BlackTree Healthcare Consulting, whose founders include Michael Freytag ’04 VSB and Nick Seabrook ’00 VSB; and the global pharmaceutical capability-and-technology platform WuXi AppTec, where Holly Brunbeck ’06 MS, a chemical engineer and project director, spearheads the liaison.

First Environmental Science Graduate Students Welcomed

11 students and keynote speaker standing with Father Peter

The 11 students in the new Master of Science in Environmental Science program joined in the launch festivities Jan. 26. The Rev. Peter M. Donohue, OSA, PhD, ’75 CLAS, University president, and Adele Lindenmeyr, PhD, dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, shared opening remarks. Christine Knapp ’01 CLAS, director of the Office of Sustainability, City of Philadelphia (fourth from the right), delivered the keynote.

Center for History in the Public Interest Opens

A center of excellence named for Albert Lepage ’69 CLAS and funded by his $10 million commitment opened in January. At the helm as director is public historian Jason Steinhauer, who has more than 15 years of experience in museums, archives, government and academia at institutions such as the Library of Congress, the Museum of Jewish Heritage and the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Paul Steege, PhD, associate professor, History, is the inaugural faculty director.

Rising Scholar Nets $1M in Grants

Jacob Elmer, PhD standing at computer screen with student

In the 2016–17 academic year, Jacob Elmer, PhD, assistant professor of Chemical Engineering (standing), has earned three national research awards. From the National Science Foundation, Dr. Elmer received $300,000 to streamline the production of genetically engineered T cells to treat leukemia patients, as well as the NSF’s prestigious $500,000 CAREER award. The National Institutes of Health awarded him $254,000—part of a grant with Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia—to study earthworm hemoglobin as a potential blood substitute.

Engineers Vie at International Competition

Engineering students talking while working on a project

In December, students advised by Mechanical Engineering Professor C. Nataraj, PhD, and Associate Professor Garrett Clayton, PhD, traveled to Hawaii to take part in RobotX, a selective competition on autonomous surface vehicles. Villanova teamed with Florida Atlantic University for the international event.

Saluting Marathon Bombing Survivors

Celeste and Sydney Corcoran stand with Father Peter and Villanovans on basketball court

Villanova University’s Office of Disability Services bestowed the fifth annual Father Bill Atkinson, OSA Humanitarian Award Feb. 23 on Celeste Corcoran and her daughter, Sydney, both of whom survived the Boston Marathon bombing. Celeste and Sydney (fourth and fifth from the right) also were honored at the Feb. 22 Men’s Basketball game.

Innovative Nursing Program Earns National Acclaim

Nursing students gather around hospital bed with instructor and patient

More than five years ago, the College of Nursing introduced the Standardized Patients With Disabilities Program to give students the opportunity to interact with individuals trained to simulate the health conditions of people with disabilities and to learn about the health issues that affect them. The program has been so successful in improving students’ clinical skills and reshaping the health care landscape to be more inclusive of people with disabilities that the College received the American Association of Colleges of Nursing 2016 Innovations in Professional Nursing Education Award.

Former Governor Urges Civility in Politics

Jon M. Huntsman, Jr smiling at an event

Villanova Law’s David F. and Constance B. Girard-diCarlo Center for Ethics, Integrity and Compliance hosted a discussion Oct. 17 featuring Jon M. Huntsman Jr. The two-term governor of Utah, former US ambassador to China and Singapore, and 2012 presidential candidate shared his views on how citizens and lawmakers can repair the politics of Washington, D.C., by putting national needs above partisan ones. Brian Tierney, CEO of Brian and Realtime Media, and former CEO and publisher of The Philadelphia Inquirer, moderated.

Engineering Lauds Outstanding Alumni

Father Peter and Dean Gabriele, PhD, stand with the Engineering Alumni Society's 2016 Awardees

University President the Rev. Peter M. Donohue, OSA, PhD, ’75 CLAS and Drosdick Endowed Dean Gary A. Gabriele, PhD (sixth from left), join the Engineering Alumni Society’s 2016 awardees: Anne Roby, PhD, ’86; Brian Bozzo ’07; Brian Glaister ’03; Joanne Dahme ’80; Karen Damara ’11; Hasshi Sudler ’92; Sachin “Dave” Duggal ’01; Alexander Myers ’08, ’10 MS; Joshua Smolinsky ’03, ’13 MS; Stephanie Dantos ’16 CLAS (on behalf of the late Christos Dantos ’80); and William Brown ’84, ’87 MS.

Symposium Focuses on Healthy Communities

Tyonne Hinson, DrPH, RN, NE-BC, ’01 MSN, director of Nursing, International Medicine and Global Health at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia speaking at podium

Tyonne Hinson, DrPH, RN, NE-BC, ’01 MSN, director of Nursing, International Medicine and Global Health at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, keynoted the College of Nursing’s Annual Research Symposium March 28 in the Connelly Center. Dr. Hinson, a member of the College’s Board of Consultors, discussed innovative partnerships that promote healthy communities. The event showcases the scholarship of faculty, students and colleagues.

Healing Through Puppetry

Members of No Strings International holding award and standing with puppets

The Center for Peace and Justice Education presented the 2016 Adela Dwyer-St. Thomas of Villanova Peace Award to No Strings International, a nonprofit led by master puppeteers from Jim Henson’s The Muppet Show, Oct. 26. The organization produces puppet-based films that help some of the world’s most vulnerable children build lifesaving skills and overcome trauma.

Law Students Win National Competition

Sarah Burke '18 and Kaitlyn Macauley '18 smiling and holding awards

Two students from Villanova Law took first place at the 2017 John J. Gibbons National Criminal Procedure Moot Court Competition, held March 24–25 at Seton Hall University School of Law. Sarah Burke ’18 and Kaitlyn Macaulay ’18 beat out 43 teams for top honors at the competition. Previously, Burke and Macaulay won Villanova Law’s 57th annual Theodore L. Reimel ’24 CLAS Moot Court Competition.

Refurbished Study Area Unveiled

Long view from floor to ceiling of Dugan Polk Family Reading Room

The exquisitely upgraded Dugan Polk Family Reading Room in Falvey Memorial Library opened in October. This 24-hour study space was made possible by more than $1.5 million in gifts from Villanova parents, including a lead gift from Trisha and Michael Polk P ’16, ’19.

Career Compass Guides Engineers’ Professional Development

Introduced in fall 2016 with first-year students, the College of Engineering’s Career Compass professional development curriculum will explore dozens of topics, help with internships and connect all engineering undergraduates with mentors. The College is working with the University Career Center to facilitate the program, which is overseen by Frank Falcone ’70 COE, ’73 MS, director of Professional Development and Experiential Education.

Russia Expert Serves as Panelist

CLAS Dean Adele Lindenmeyr, PhD, a renowned expert in modern Russian history, was a panelist at an event hosted by the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars’ Kennan Institute to mark the centennial of the 1917 Russian Revolution. Chartered by Congress, the Wilson Center is the nation’s key nonpartisan policy forum for tackling global issues through independent research and open dialogue.

Law Center's Name Recognizes $5M in Gifts

The Center for Law, Religion and Public Policy will be named in honor of Eleanor H. McCullen, recognizing recent gifts totaling $5 million from her husband, Joseph T. McCullen Jr. ’57 CLAS. Housed in the Charles Widger School of Law, the center will offer academic programming and serve as a hub for conferences and seminars on emerging advocacy issues.

In Gratitude to Carr Society Members

Members of the Matthew Carr Society were recognized with a Mass and dinner on campus Oct. 9. Jay Wright, the William B. Finneran Endowed Athletic Fund Head Coach, was the featured speaker. The Carr Society honors benefactors who have supported Villanova with lifetime gifts of $1 million or more.

New Council Comprises Real Estate Leaders

Nova Next Council member speaking in front of large screen presentation

The Villanova School of Business’ Daniel M. DiLella Center for Real Estate has created the Nova Next Council, which brings together rising leaders in the real estate industry. The members will serve as a conduit between students and professionals by shaping the center’s programming, philanthropic efforts and networking opportunities. Mark Thomson ’05 VSB, senior managing director and co-head of Philadelphia, HFF, and Ian Christ ’04 VSB, vice president, US transactions, PGIM Real Estate, are the 2016–17 co-chairs.

Opening Bell for Curley Family Exchange

Kevin M. Curley '80 VSB with son Kevin II and daughter Kathleen, standing in front of Curley Exchange

The newly renovated Kevin M. Curley Family Exchange in Bartley Hall—made possible by a $2.5 million commitment from Kevin M. Curley ’80 VSB, pictured here with his son, Kevin II ’09 VSB, and daughter, Kathleen—was dedicated in September. This enhanced space provides a multifunctional environment for students, faculty and staff.

Alumni Challenge Bolsters Senior Class Giving

The Giunco family has partnered with the Senior Class Gift program to inspire the Class of 2017 to leave their mark on Villanova. Through the Giunco Family Match, the family will donate $100 in honor of each senior who makes a gift of any size to the University. This year’s goal is to reach 62 percent class participation by May 31.

Wall Street Expert Talks “Futures”

Raymond Tierney III ’81 CLAS, P ’10 talks to a small group of students sitting in a circle of desks

Raymond Tierney III ’81 CLAS, P ’10, former global head of Trading Solutions at Bloomberg LP and a passionate champion of Villanova, visits College of Liberal Arts and Sciences students to talk about launching their careers.

Ward Lecture Reinforces Professional Ethics

Nicholas DeNichilo, PE, FASCE, NAC, president and CEO of Mott MacDonald, speaking at podium in front of large screen presentation

Nicholas DeNichilo, PE, FASCE, NAC, president and CEO of Mott MacDonald, delivered the 2017 Patrick J. Cunningham, Jr. and Susan Ward ’80 Endowed Lecture in Engineering. His talk was titled “Business and Professional Ethics—Managing With Integrity.”

Finishing With National Title

Patrick Tiernan running a race, past a line of cheering crowd

In his final race as a Wildcat, senior Patrick Tiernan, a Mathematics major, became the second men’s runner in school history to win a national championship in cross country. He finished first at the NCAA Championships in Terre Haute, Ind. In addition, Tiernan became the first four-time cross country All-American from the Wildcats Men’s program, as well as the first male or female athlete in conference history to win the Big East cross country title four times.

Varsity Club’s 2016 Class

The 10 award winners standing together with Villanova seal behind them on wall

Nine former Villanova student-athletes, along with the Jake Nevin Special Recognition Award winner, were saluted at the 41st annual Hall of Fame Dinner Jan. 28 in the Connelly Center. The 2016 Hall of Fame Class comprises the following inductees: Brian Westbrook ’01 VSB, Football; Jackie Pasquerella ’01 CLAS, Softball; Meghan Sarbanis ’99 CLAS, Rowing; Carrie Tollefson ’99 CLAS, Women’s Track and Field; Matt Longo ’01 VSB, Baseball; Jill Basile ’97 CLAS, Field Hockey; Mike Schwankl ’96 COE, Men’s Swimming; Mary Anne Gabuzda, longtime Athletics staff member (Nevin Award); Steve Lappas, former head coach, Men’s Basketball; Jenn Beisel ’98 CLAS, Women’s Basketball.

Glory Day for Revered Coach

Black and white photo of Marty Stern on right with two-time Olympian Vicki Huber Rudawsky ’89 CLAS on left

Marty Stern was inducted into the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association Coaches Hall of Fame Dec. 14, his 80th birthday. Stern (pictured here with two-time Olympian Vicki Huber Rudawsky ’89 CLAS) led the Wildcats Women’s Cross Country and Track and Field programs 1984–94. During his tenure, the Cross Country program won five consecutive national titles.

Pooling Their Talents

Women's Swimming and Diving teal standing in a group by the pool holding Big East Championship signs

The Villanova Women’s Swimming and Diving team won its fourth consecutive Big East title Feb. 25 at the Nassau County Aquatic Center. Darby Goodwin was named the Big East Women’s Most Outstanding Swimmer for the second year in a row. Head Coach Rick Simpson earned Big East Women’s Coach of the Year honors, and Todd Michael was named the Women’s Co-Diving Coach of the Year.

Men's Soccer Strikes Big

Action shot of Villanova Men's Soccer player keeping ball away from opposing team

Capping a successful season, the Villanova Men’s Soccer team, led by Tom Carlin, head coach, qualified in November for the NCAA Tournament for the first time in program history. Villanova also notched the fifth season with at least 10 victories.

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