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Electric Demand Response, 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. on June 21

An Electric Demand Response is scheduled for today, June 21. Due to the extremely high outside temperatures Villanova University Facilities is implementing a load reduction today between the hours of 3:00 PM and 6:00 PM. We will be curtailing some nonessential services between those hours. This reduction will benefit Villanova and the surrounding community as well as the rest of the utility grid.

The lights on the third and fourth floors in Falvey will be turned off during this time. It is also possible that the air conditioning in the building will be adjusted to an energy-saving level. Lights will be restored on the upper floors at 6:00 pm. Thank you for your patience as we implement this energy saving method.




Father Syvinski: The Story of the Mosaic







As one enters Falvey, colorful mosaics on either side invite scrutiny. On the right is the Villanova University seal, adopted in 1953 and closely related to the 1911 earlier version. On the opposite wall is another mosaic, the seal of the Province of St. Thomas of Villanova, which bears an inscription, “FR. HENRY B. SYVINSKI, OSA, VILLANOVA UNIVERSITY.”

Who is Father Syvinski and why did he sign this image?

Henry Bronislaw Syvinski (1919-1999), a native of Amesbury, Mass., graduated from Villanova College (it was not yet a university) in 1944 with a bachelor’s degree. He was ordained a priest in 1947 after studying theology at Augustinian College, Washington, D.C.

The Rev. Henry B. Syvinski, OSA, continued his studies at Catholic University, Washington, D.C., and in 1948 he received a master’s degree in fine arts. Father Syvinski’s first assignment was in the parish of St. James, Carthage, N.Y. After serving in several other positions over the next ten years, he came to Villanova where he remained for the rest of his life.

In January 1958, Father Syvinski became a professor at Villanova University, teaching various courses in religion and fine arts until retiring in 1987. He was also associated with the swim team, University band, Student Art Club and the Glee Club. (more…)


Gavin Wilk on Joseph McGarrity and the Militant Irish Republican Networks in the U.S.

By Alice Bampton

“The Joseph McGarrity Collection at Falvey Memorial Library provided a fantastic variety of complementary material to McGarrity’s papers at the National Library of Ireland,” says Irish scholar and Villanova alumnus Gavin Wilk, PhD.

Dr. Wilk, who received his bachelor’s degree in history from the University in 2000, visited Villanova on February 20. During his talk, he mentioned his use of the McGarrity Collection in Falvey.

Dr. Wilk returned to campus to present “Resolute Revolutionaries: Joseph McGarrity and the Militant Irish Republican Networks in the United States, 1922-1940.” His talk was sponsored by Irish Studies, with support from the History Department and Graduate Studies.

His discussion was based on his 2012 PhD dissertation, “Displaced Allegiance: Militant Irish Republican Activism in the United States, 1923-39.”

He received his doctorate from the University of Limerick, Ireland, in January. While attending the University of Limerick, Dr. Wilk was an Irish Research Council for Humanities and Social Sciences Government of Ireland Postgraduate Scholar. For his dissertation Dr. Wilk conducted research in Ireland, Great Britain and the United States.

Dr. Wilk explains, “The Joseph McGarrity Papers at the National Library of Ireland offered a large amount of material for my thesis, including personal correspondence and Clan na Gael records.” The Clan na Gael was an American-based militant Irish republican organization.

About Falvey’s McGarrity Collection, Dr. Wilk says, “Included in the collection are photographs and sketches of IRA veterans who had emigrated to the U.S. The collection also holds some correspondence between Joseph McGarrity and certain IRA veterans, which provided further context for my thesis.” Dr. Wilk returned from Ireland to Villanova to use the McGarrity Collection as part of his dissertation research. (more…)

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Falvey Scholars: Exceptional Undergraduate Research Spanning Five Disciplines

To highlight undergraduate research and the Library’s role in facilitating such research, Falvey Memorial Library honors students whose achievements have distinguished them as Falvey Scholars. The tenth annual Falvey Scholars Award ceremony took place on Friday, April 27, 2012, on Falvey’s newly renovated second floor.

The Falvey Scholars Award was established in 2002 by Joseph P. Lucia, University librarian and library director. Lucia collaborated with the honors program and the Center for Undergraduate Research and Fellowships to establish the award. This annual program, according to Lucia, serves “to recognize and reward exceptional undergraduate research.”

Casey Burkhardt (Computer Science), delivered the first presentation: “The Trajectory to the ‘Technological Singularity.'” Singularity, Casey explained, is “a point at which technology surpasses the abilities of the human brain.” He also discussed the ethical component and social responsibility related to such technological pursuits. Casey’s faculty mentor, William Fleischman, PhD, could not attend. Joe Lucia read Dr. Fleischman’s introduction in his stead.



Theresa Donohoe (English), the next presenter, discussed “Nature, Culture, and Gender in Gardens of Middle English Poetry.” Focusing on “The Pearl,” an anonymous fourteenth century poem, Theresa studied a manuscript from the British Library in researching the treatment of nature and of women in the poem. She cited other fourteenth century texts—”The Book of the Duchess,” “The Knight’s Tale,” and “The Merchant’s Tale” by Chaucer—in her presentation, reciting some passages in middle English. Theresa’s faculty mentor was Alice Dailey, PhD.


Mark Reimlinger, Emily Battinelli, and Frank Anuszewski (in absentia) (Electrical Engineering), discussed their project: “Microstructured Optical Fibers for Environmental Sensing.” Mark’s work on this project, which he had begun in March of 2010, involves measuring the absorption of light so precisely as to detect, for example, chemical agents. Emily stated that this technique could also be used to detect types of antibodies, indicating the presence of certain diseases. Rosalind Wynne, PhD, served as the team’s faculty mentor.

Matthew Hemmerle (Economics) showed how a country’s dependence on oil affects its economy and its political system: “Manufacturing Institutional Quality: The Impact of Dutch Disease on Governance in Oil Dependent Countries.” In researching dozens of oil-dependent countries, Matthew studied how such countries’ oil sectors may negatively impact their manufacturing sectors. Matthew integrated his experiences studying in Jordan and visiting Cambodia on a service trip into his research. His faculty mentor was Mary Kelly, PhD.

Hillary Dutton (Nursing), the event’s final presenter, delivered “Electronic Aggression in Adolescents: The Current State of the Science.” Cyber-bullying, Hillary explained, exceeds the boundaries of traditional bullying, following its target into his/her home and even the bedroom. And if the bullying doesn’t originate from a school computer, she continued, the school can’t intervene. Her faculty mentorElizabeth Dowdell, PhD, described Hillary as “a really strong and independent soul.”

The Rev. Peter M. Donohue, OSA, PhD, ’75 A&S, president of Villanova University, spoke next. In the context of faculty’s responsibility to build knowledge, Father Peter asserted that the University’s “students are also contributing to that knowledge.” He also recognized the service of the faculty mentors who supported the Falvey Scholars.

During the luncheon that immediately followed, attendees remarked on the timeliness of the Scholars’ topics, their professionalism—both in presenting their research and in responding to the audience’s questions, and the thoughtful questions posed by student attendees.

Special thanks to Gina Duffy, library events and program coordinator, and her team for posting online announcements; for setting up the chairs, tables, computers (for the presenters) and the display screen; and for organizing the refreshments. Special thanks also go to the library’s graphic designer, Joanne Quinn, who created the display window on the first floor, celebrating the Falvey Scholars and the tenth anniversary of this event.

Contributed by Gerald Dierkes; photography by Alice Bampton


Sarah Zinn Selected Student Employee of the Month

Sarah Zinn is Falvey Memorial Library’s current Student Employee of the Month.

Sarah, a senior English major from Cleveland, Ohio, has minors in philosophy and German. She has worked in Falvey since enrolling at Villanova University. Sarah says, “[I]t’ll always feel a bit like home to me … It’s been a good run, and I’m happy to have been here.”

She works at Circulation and helps with all aspects of interlibrary loan (ILL). Sarah receives the incoming ILL book requests, processes articles for delivery, and prepares returned ILL books to be shipped back to loaning libraries.

Phylis Wright, manager of access desk services, says, “Sarah … always comes to work with a smile on her face. She has never missed a shift and often flexes it to accommodate the workload of ILL.” Jesse Flavin, interlibrary loan specialist, says, “She consistently provides conscientious and precise work for our ILL team.”

Her interests are varied: getting caught in the rain, dogs, silly movies, good books, music, the Oxford comma, embarrassing her friends by dancing and singing in public, and the Game of Thrones television series. Sarah also enjoys hot tea and adds, “There are no words in the English language passionate enough to describe my feelings for Nutella.”

After graduation, Sarah plans to attend law school.

The University Staff Council at Falvey selects a Student Employee of the Month based upon nominations from the department supervisors of student employees.

Article and photograph by Alice Bampton


Open Mic Draws Poets and Listeners to the Library

“My mother never forgave my father
for killing himself,
especially at such an awkward time…”

Joey Bagnasco reads "A Sunday"

Stanley Kunitz’s poem, “The Portrait,” provided a dramatic beginning to the seventh annual Open Mic Poetry Reading on April 24.

Lisa Sewell, PhD, an associate professor in the English Department and also the director of programming, Gender & Women’s Studies, began the poetry reading with “The Portrait” and also “The Long Boat” by Kunitz.

Dr. Sewell introduced senior class member Kathleen Pierce. Kathleen presented the just-released 2012 issue of Arthology, one of University’s student literary-art journals. Editor-in-chief of and a contributor to Arthology, she made copies of the journal available to attendees.

Kathleen also shared her poem, “Commuter’s Daydream.” Ahren Potratz came to the microphone next to read “In a Wheatfield in Auvers-sur-Oise.” And Ciara Sprance presented “Naturalism.” Arthology features all three of these poems.

Next, Gerald Dierkes, a Library staff member, recited his poem “Apostrophe.” Paul Trahey offered “Ode to Cold Spaghetti” and “The Altar.” Then Irish Studies Director Joseph Lennon, PhD, delivered three of his own poems about learning to play the harmonica, before reading two poems by Paul Durcan: “The Kilfenora Teaboy” and “The Lion Tamer.”

Meghan Farley, a Senior Class Poet contestant, presented “Secrets.” Barbara Quintiliano, instructional services librarian and team leader for Life Sciences/Nursing, read “Disarmed.” Senior Class Poet contestant Ashley Dunbar shared “You Came, Too” by Nikki Giovanni, and Alicia Hobson delivered “Cat Calls” by Anonymous.

Joey Bagnasco, a Senior Class Poet contestant, offered “Vulpes” and “A Sunday,” which appears on a poster in the Library. Each Senior Class Poet contestant had one of his/her poems published on posters, which are on display throughout the library first floor. University Librarian Joe Lucia delivered “The Afterlife of Libraries.”

Ravahn Duval presented “One Day,” which appears in Arthology. Melanie Romero shared “The Pietà.” Melanie’s selection as Senior Class Poet was announced at the English Department awards ceremony on May 4.

Jacqui Kelliher read “The Green Eye of the Little Yellow God” by J. Milton Hayes.

Dr. Sewell concluded the event with her own poem, “Murder on the Orient Express.” The Open Mic Poetry Reading showcased the students’ imaginative creativity and skill.  And Dr. Sewell’s obvious passion for promoting poetry made this well-attended event a success.

Set in the new Speakers’ Corner of Falvey Memorial Library, the event was co-sponsored by Falvey and the English Department. Other organizers included Dierkes, Judy Olsen, graphic designer Joanne Quinn and Falvey’s Events & Outreach team. Dr. Sewell handles the Senior Class Poet competition on behalf of the English Department.

Contributed by Gerald Dierkes; photography by Alice Bampton


Showing off our wares at the Villanova Tech Expo

Pictured: Michael Foight and Laura Bang; Demian Katz.

Our digital library and technology development teams showed off our home-grown, open source software projects at this year’s Villanova University Tech Expo. The University hosts this free exposition as an opportunity for the regional education community to see the latest technology from leading vendors, learn from informative keynote speakers and connect with peers to find solutions and best practices.

Taking a place among over 100 exhibitors, Falvey’s table promoted two open-source software projects: VuFind, a library resource portal, and VuDL, a digital library content management system.

Photos by Alexandra Edwards and Michael Foight



Last Modified: May 3, 2012