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And the winner of our Literary Bracketology contest is…

It was an intense battle last month but Gandalf proved to be too much for the rest of the competition.  This year’s battle proved to be extremely popular with over 300 submissions online and in paper. Thanks to everyone who voted and participated in the contest!

imgresShishav Parajuli was the lucky winner this year out of over 150 entries. As winner of the annual Bracketology showdown, he was awarded a book of his choice from the field of 64.  Shishav, a graduate student majoring in Political Science, decided on the book Invitation to a Beheading by Vladimir Nabokov. (If you’ll recall, Nabokov’s character Lolita lost in the second round!) See you next spring for more literary madness! Hope you play along!

Article by Raamaan McBride, writer on the Communication and Service Promotion team and specialist on the Access Services Team.


Falvey Scholar program recognizes student accomplishments in research, innovation and creativity


Interim Library Director Darren G. Poley presents Jerisa Upton with her award.

The annual Falvey Scholars Award—established by Falvey Memorial Library in conjunction with the Center for Undergraduate Research and Fellowships and the Honors Program—recognizes and celebrates the academic excellence of some of Villanova’s finest undergraduate scholars. This year’s event, held on Friday April 25, honored six Falvey Scholars under each of the following categories: business, engineering, liberal arts, science, nursing and our new category, social science, which was added given the overwhelming response and volume of excellent candidates in the liberal arts.

Each of the Falvey Scholars presented a 30-minute summary of their winning project and were each presented with the Falvey Scholars Award by our Interim Library Director, Darren Poley.

Falvey is delighted to announce the following undergraduates as the 2014 Falvey Scholars:

Aurora Vandewark (nursing); mentor: Michelle M. Kelly, PhD, CRNP; Project: “Evidence-Based Practices to Reduce Psychosocial Distress Among Parents of Neonatal Intensive Care Unit Patients.”

Jerisa Upton (social science); mentor: Maghan Keita, PhD; Project: “Understanding Bureaucratic Politics and the Origins of the Great Leap Forward.”

Mark Bookman (liberal arts); mentors: Maghan Keita, PhD, and Edwin Goff, PhD; Project: “Re-imagining Discourse: Shingon Buddhism and Western Epistemologies.”

Clockwise, from top left: Vandewark, Upton, Bookman, McGrane, Ferguson and Shaik

Clockwise, from top left: Vandewark, Upton, Bookman, McGrane, Ferguson and Shaik

Noor F. Shaik (science); mentor: Dennis D. Wykoff, PhD; Project: “Using Fluorescent Markers in Cells and Flow Cytometry to Measure the Selective Pressures in Yeast.”

Olivia Ferguson (business); mentor: Peter Zaleski, PhD; Project: “Metropolitan Manufacturing Decline, 1980-2005, and Subsequent Effects on Residents.”

Robert McGrane (engineering); mentor: Noelle Comolli, PhD; Title: “Chitosan Thin-Films for Post-Surgical Drug Delivery.”

Falvey Scholars is just one of the many events that comprise the Undergraduate Research Exposition, or EXPO 14: a week-long series of programs that recognize the research undergraduates accomplish throughout the year. Villanova is proud to highlight the contributions of its undergraduate student community!

Article by Regina Duffy, writer for the Communication and Service Promotion team and library events and program coordinator for the Scholarly Outreach team. Photos by Alice Bampton, digital image specialist and senior writer on the Communication and Service Promotion team.


DH in the Classroom: Aurelius Digital Humanities Launches Second Project

During the spring semester, the Aurelius Digital Humanities Initiative launched its second project, a digital edition of El Peru en sus tradiciones en su historia, en su arte. The project was commandeered by Visiting Assistant Professor of Spanish Chad Leahy, PhD, who worked with his special-topics Spanish class to digitize and transcribe the text. Guidance was also provided by Laura Bang, digital and Special Collections curatorial assistant, and David Uspal, senior web specialist for library services and scholarly applications. Dr. Leahy explains that the materiality of text as object, the smell and feel of the item itself, has a story to tell us and digital humanities as a new technology has a way of opening this aspect of the text to the world.


  El Peru en sus tradiciones en su historia, en su arte is a 133 page multimedia scrapbook that contains postcards, newspaper clippings, drawings—more than 160 distinct visual objects in all. In many cases, these entries are copied without original sources, raising difficult questions regarding authorship, provenance and purpose. There is no way to prove authorship, but Dr. Leahy speculates that the text may have originated through the Augustinian missions in Peru and was probably a gift. The latest internal date, 1924, suggests that the scrapbook was produced in the latter half of the 1920s. In addition to studying the Peruvian text, Dr. Leahy’s class had the opportunity to develop hands-on digitizing skills while scanning the text Los dramas de la Guerra, a serialized account of the First World War published in Barcelona during the war years.


Participants loved the way the website reformatted for easy reading on hand held devices.

David Uspal wrapped up the event by explaining the development behind the website. Uspal said, “in addition to the transcription work by the undergraduate students, technical support for the project was provided by Falvey [Memorial] Library’s Technology Development Team, with a large contribution by technology graduate assistant Pragya Singhvi.  Pragya’s work on importing transcription documents and automatically producing TEI and HTML versions of these documents will both help reduce the work necessary on future translation projects (and thus, more likely to get more and varies projects approved) and allow these projects to adopt open standards which will allow for greater use in the academic community.”

Laura Hutelmyer is the photography coordinator for the Communication and Publications Team and special acquisitions coordinator in Resource Management


Three Good Friends Ride the 5 Boro Bike Tour

ward barnes NYC bike ride

Left to right: Bob Wicks, Ralph Bohlin, Ward Barnes. In front of Bob’s apartment building on 90th St. in Manhattan prior to the 45-mile, five-borough tour, on which we were accompanied by 32,000 friends.

Not one to sit around, Ward Barnes keeps moving when he’s not working at the Falvey Memorial Library circulation desk or landscaping at his home nearby. In fact, on May 4, Barnes and two of his friends and fellow septuagenarians rode in a 45-mile Five Boro Bike Tour in New York City.

Barnes recounted his experience saying “I did the whole thing without stopping or resting, and on a breakfast of an English muffin and a bowl of Raisin Bran and a glass of water.  I didn’t eat anything the whole 4 hours, and drank only about about 8 ounces of water (which is really stupid).”



Taking On the Broad Street Run

broad street run 2014

Congratulations to  Raamaan McBride and Becky Whidden, library staff who entered and finished the Broad Street Run! They both came through with very respectable times (1:35:59 and 1:36:42, respectively). The 10-mile race was held on May 4 and was sponsored by Independence Blue Cross. They each received a medal to recognize their participation. (Of course, they’re both winners every day at Falvey.) Who knows? Maybe we’ll see them in another race this summer!



Wherefore were the “ShakesDucks?” These folks kneweth.


As some of our readers may have noticed, the Internet has been exploding with Shakespeare related content over the last few weeks in celebration of the bard’s 450th birthday. Falvey Memorial Library played its part in the celebrations by collaborating with the Department of English on a birthday party held in the Falvey Hall Reading Room. We also held a library-wide scavenger hunt; hunters could win a ShakesDuck by following research-oriented clues leading them to specific hiding places in the Library where they would find a glitter encrusted egg, which they could then present for their ShakesDuck.

We had a great range of interest with participants majoring in everything from English to chemistry and economics. So far, five of our clever hunters (four of them are pictured here) have shown up to claim their ShakesDucks. If you found an egg and haven’t yet had time to pick up your ShakesDuck, don’t forget to stop by English and Theatre Librarian Sarah Wingo’s office in Falvey (room 232) to claim your prize!

Several winners, pictured top to bottom: Jonathan Grecco, Katharine McLellan, Chris Tamaninie, Lisa Dixon.



Dept. of English names Creative Writing Award winners


Mangano, Lister

The Department of English has announced the Class of 2014 Creative Writing Awards contest winners:


winner—Mary Grace Mangano

runner up—Katie Wiseman


winner—Mary Lister

runner up—Mary Grace Mangano



Event Master of Ceremonies, Gerald Dierkes

Several contestants shared their work at the University’s Open Mic event on April 23 in the Library. Also, posters featuring the contestants’ poems or fiction excerpts are displayed throughout the library’s first floor. Come and read for yourself the clever, memorable work of these students. I think you’ll agree: the contest judges had a difficult task.




Gerald info deskNational Poetry Month coverage by Gerald Dierkes, information services specialist for the Information and Research Assistance team, senior copy-editor for the Communication and Service Promotion team and a liaison to the Department of Theater.


Winner of “Finals Can Be Suite” contest announced!


So, how does this compare for a finals schedule: organic chemistry on Saturday, microbiology lab on Monday, ethics of adoption and contemplative tradition on Tuesday, statistics on Thursday and, the grand finale, microbiology on Friday. We don’t know about you, but we can’t help but think that it’s too bad professors don’t give credit per syllable!

Well, even though creativity or exigency did not count for our Finals Can Be Suite Contest, it seems like the right person won the usage of Conference Room 206 in the Learning Commons for Finals Week anyway! That’s the exam schedule of Elizabeth Prather, a junior Biology major, who was the lucky winner of the random drawing held from all the #falveypeeps photo entries uploaded to the library’s social media accounts over the last few weeks. Prather and her selected study group now have the exclusive opportunity to study in the room usually reserved only for library events and meetings.

Prather is very excited and confident that winning this contest will help greatly through her grueling finals schedule. “Having this study room honestly just gives me a leg up to know that every night when my study groups get together, we’ll have somewhere to go! Not to mention that now everyone wants to be my best friend to get in on it! I have told them I will take bribes and then choose accordingly,” she says with a wink (At least, we think it’s a wink! ;-) .)

Thanks to all who entered the contest, and good luck to all facing finals, which start tomorrow. Even if you didn’t win a private suite, remember that now through May 9, the Library has extended areas available for 24/7 study – including the first, second and ground floors of the main building. Finding quiet places to hunker down and hit the books uninterrupted should be easier than ever. Just remember your Wildcard to gain access to the building.


Caitlin Ritchie: Class of 2014 Creative Writing Awards contestant

Caitlin Ritchie poem photoTo honor the University’s Class of 2014 Creative Writing Awards, the Library is publishing contestants’ poems or prose excerpts on Falvey’s blog. The Library also has created posters for the contestants’ poems or prose excerpts, which will be displayed throughout the library’s first floor.

This year the contest includes both poetry and prose (in previous years it was “the Senior-Class-Poet Contest”). The Department of English will announce the Class of 2014 Creative Writing Awards winners later this month.

“The Third Floor Water Fountain”
Caitlin Ritchie

I approach you
Place my hand on yours
Lean in hoping for the refreshment I’ve been waiting so long for

You give me water, but not without pressure
And even then you deprive me
Giving me just a taste of what I need for survival

You barely quench my thirst
And the hunger, like my assignments, persists
I hope with each new meeting that you will have changed

You cannot see the effect you have on me
Your water dribbles out like empty and unfulfilling words
But still I overdose on eager dreams of your sustenance

I pretend not to forgive your uncertainty as I hide in the stacks
But nothing, no advice, can stop me from returning to your iron lips
I have to come to terms with my insatiable thirst for you,
You and the third floor water fountain

Caitlin Ritchie, a Class of 2014 Creative Writing Awards contestant, says “This poem was actually partially inspired by Falvey’s third floor water fountain that has never worked quite right. I loved playing around with the imagery in the poem and had the opportunity to share and edit the poem with my poetry workshop class, taught by visiting Irish professor Eamonn Wall.”

Caitlin is a senior marketing major and international business minor from Plymouth, Minnesota. Her poetry has also been published in multiple editions of Villanova’s literary arts magazines, POLIS and Arthology.

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Mary Grace Mangano: Class of 2014 Creative Writing Awards contestant

Mangano poem photoTo honor the University’s Class of 2014 Creative Writing Awards, the Library is publishing contestants’ poems or prose excerpts on Falvey’s blog. The Library also has created posters for the contestants’ poems or prose excerpts, which will be displayed throughout the library’s first floor.

This year the contest includes both poetry and prose (in previous years it was “the Senior-Class-Poet Contest”). The Department of English will announce the Class of 2014 Creative Writing Awards winners later this month.

Excerpt from “Independence Day”
Mary Grace Mangano

“Every day leading up to the party was a knockout. Clear skies, sun so bright you basically had to look down at your feet, and zero humidity. You had played in the sprinkler for hours (you didn’t have a pool like the rest of your neighbors) until Mom curled her finger at you to come inside and explain that “Eileen, we’re in a drought, OK? That means no extra water and we’re not supposed to use the sprinkler on the grass so let’s not dance around and draw attention to it, sweetie.”

But the day of the Fourth of July party was not a knockout, no siree. You couldn’t sleep the night before because you were so excited and also the thunderclaps felt like they were in your chest, or right next to the bed like a mean bully kid from school clapping his hands in your ear. Well, that thunder didn’t let up the whole morning and all through the day. You were disappointed because there were supposed to be games outside but when you saw your Pop’s face so sad and long, you forgot about the games and climbed onto his lap. He let you stay there for breakfast as he ate his Cheerios mixed with Cap’n Crunch, sipping his coffee which always made you queasy and looking out the window at the rain.”

Mary Grace Mangano, a Class of 2014 Creative Writing Awards contestant, says “I’ve heard that the most imaginative space is the moment when a person wakes, somewhat startled to find herself in a new day. Maybe this is because all of the scattered thoughts a person has while sleeping and dreaming remain on the surface and introduce themselves. Writing–especially poems–seems to happen like this for me. It will start with a thought, feeling, or idea that presents itself to me and the more I sit with it, the more I want to say something about it. The writing itself is a way to explore that flash of an idea, to find a way to say what I’m feeling or thinking. In a way, the poetry is being able to find a moment to explore these ideas and share it with words, on the page, to other people.”

Mary Grace Mangano is an English major seeking an honors degree with a concentration in writing and rhetoric and an Italian minor. She is from Clinton, New Jersey, has enjoyed creative writing since she was a young girl, and also loves to run, dance, cook, read and travel.


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Last Modified: April 28, 2014