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Foto Friday: Falvey Scholars

2014-04-25 09.09.22

Each year, the Falvey Scholar presentations showcase the talents of Villanova’s most promising undergraduates and highlight the resources and opportunities afforded to them by their mentors and the library. This year, six students will present their research.

The Falvey Scholars Award is an annual program established by Falvey Memorial Library to recognize outstanding undergraduate research. It is a collaborative initiative of the Library, the Honors Program, and the Center for Undergraduate Research and Fellowships.

The recipients of this award are selected from a pool of candidates that is generated by applications submitted by nominated Villanova University students or a group of nominated students working on a senior project together. Senior students must be nominated by their faculty advisor and submit a completed application to be considered for the Falvey Scholars Award. Read more about this year’s successful applicants here.


16th Annual Literary Festival Features Adelle Waldman

Adelle WaldmanPlease join us in Falvey Memorial Library’s Speakers’ Corner on Thursday, April 24, at 7:00 p.m. for a 16th Annual Villanova Literary Festival event featuring Adelle Waldman. Waldman is author of The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times Book Review, the New Republic, the Wall Street Journal, Slate, The Village Voice, and other publications. In addition, she worked as a reporter for the New Haven Register and the Cleveland Plain Dealer, and wrote a column for the Wall Street Journal‘s website before turning to fiction. The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P. is her first novel.

Love affairsAt this event, Waldman will read selections of her work. Following the reading, there will be book sale and signing.

This event, co-sponsored by the Department of English and Falvey Memorial Library, is free and open to the public.


Christine Tergis: Class of 2014 Creative Writing Awards contestant

Christine Tergis 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’ entries, which will be displayed throughout the library’s first floor.

“Prometheus, the Poet”
Christine Tergis

With stolen lines and tawny colored pen,
His brutish strength defied all ordered form.
He brought the words that flicker to all men,
To them, he shows a fire that can deform.
Now chained to rock it seems his power expir’d
His clay creations bleed into a stain.
I know free flame was all he had desired,
Yet meter claws and forces the refrain.
How did his yearning bring him such a fate,
Can iron fetters stop his hands from molding?
While all the while he fights against the strait
Inside a burning song is nearly smold’ring…
But once released, he could not seem to thank
The freeing verse that felt so very blank.

Christine Tergis, a Class of 2014 Creative Writing Awards contestant, says “Poetry (to me) means that I am not weird for wanting to look at the world while standing on my head, alternately blinking both eyes and yelling into an empty cave. As a Shakespearean sonnet, ‘Prometheus, the Poet’ explores the tension between form/content as restricting/enabling creative expression.”

Christine Tergis is an English major and Spanish minor from Yonkers, New York. She enjoys yoga, cooking yumtastic food, speaking in accents and spontaneously erupting into interpretive dance (with or without music).

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An Open-Mic Event to Remember

open_micWhat will you remember? At graduation or many years from now, what good memories will come to mind when you look back on your life as a Villanova student? I remember the Open Mic Poetry Readings—seeing a finance major, followed by a mathematics professor, then a star athlete approach the open mic. I did not expect to have something meaningful in common with these diverse strangers. But I experienced a connection with each of them as they shared either poems they wrote or someone else’s poems they enjoy. I appreciated their willingness to share their creativity, their passion, their honesty. And I remain grateful for those fond memories.

Do something worth remembering. Come to the Open Mic event. Listen to your colleagues. Or better yet, contribute to everyone else’s good memories; share a poem of your own or a favorite poem by someone else.

The Department of English and Falvey Memorial Library’s annual Open Mic Poetry Reading will take place on Wednesday, April 23, from 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. in the Library’s Speakers’ Corner.


13th Annual Falvey Scholars Awards: Recognizing Exceptional Undergraduate Achievement at Villanova


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, six Falvey Scholars have been selected 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.

The Falvey Scholars will be recognized at our awards presentation and reception ceremony on Friday, April 25 from 9 a.m.-12 p.m. in room 205 of Falvey Memorial Library. At the event, which is free and open to the public, each of the Falvey Scholars will present a 30-minute summary of their winning project and will then be officially 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.”

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.”

Please join us on April 25 to help us congratulate them and to recognize their great achievements!

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.

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Mary Lister: Class of 2014 Creative Writing Awards contestant

Mary Lister 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’ entries, 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 “Mango Machete”
Mary Lister

“Do you have a history of mental illness or violent tendencies? Have you ever been convicted of a crime?”

Our medical clinic was half-way completed, and I silently wondered if they would take him there to be treated by the single nurse who sat in the single room all night long. I am white. I am American, and they sent me home without thinking about my clinic or our small stone house surrounded by a moat of glass but consumed by my sticky machete that cut more than a mango that night.

“Where did you get the knife? Why were you walking in the dark carrying a lethal weapon?”

It was just like the times before, it was dark and he treaded toward me, not even hiding his heavy approach. I was drunk and stoned and clutching two sweating chocolate milk cartons in one hand. It felt like I was swimming through the thick air that ached for monsoon season. He came from behind but I was ready this time. My shoulders tingled with effort as something hot dripped down the side of my leg. Later, I found a straight cut about the length of my pinky I made against my hip while pulling out the sticky mango machete, like one from a razor. I thought about Skokes and her ring of tears and her tired boots. I thought about Asia in the hamper, surrounded by a sea of her own dark red blood, looking like a vampire after a meal. I thought about the Twizzlers I had been on my way to retrieve, the Twizzlers not-Sesie’s girlfriend had sent me the day before. Flailing through the blackness, I made contact with flesh as Mat Kearney played in my head. Skin is tougher than you’d think and bones make a funny clinging sound when they meet metal, like a bell underwater. I heard a yell, but I don’t know if it was mine or his. It must’ve been mine, because the mob came running. And so did Sesie.

“How did you know the man you attacked? Where did you meet the people who came to your aid? Was this attack premeditated?”

That’s why I’m here. I like this place because I can hear the electricity crackling and there isn’t a machete on my hip. I am staying here to recover from that last night, but they don’t understand that it started with a sign that read “Luluu” and a glass ocean and a white sand beach. Here, I’m becoming not-Lulu, but they want me to remember being Lulu without being sad, so they feed me medicine to make my thoughts slow down. I think I should be in jail because they told me later that he died. They didn’t tell me that I killed him because they only found his charred body after the mob came. The mob that showers mwizi in gasoline, wraps them in a rubber tire and throws a torch at them. I said mwizi and mwizi is a death sentence—they put a tire around him and lit up the night.

Mary Lister, a Class of 2014 Creative Writing Awards contestant, says “This piece follows a group of young women through their journey and battles as volunteers in and East African city. I utilized my basic knowledge of Swahili to try and give an air of authenticity and I hope the story gives off a bit of thriller-esque drama—it’s meant to!”

Mary Lister is a senior Political Science and Honors major from West Chester, Pa. She likes piña coladas, getting caught in the rain and snuggling with her kitten named Cat while pretending she is a blond Audrey Hepburn.


Earth Day 2014: Focus on Sustainable Agriculture

Sustainability logoThe term “environmental sustainability” has been in the forefront of the news for several years. Climate scientists agree that the Earth is in a period of global warming, droughts and severe storms occur with increasing frequency and water resources continue to be compromised with pollutants.

Research is being conducted into living more sustainably; adopting energy-production methods that minimize greenhouse gas emissions; developing sustainable housing that utilizes renewable building materials; preserving water quality in oceans, lakes and streams; and growing sustainable agriculture that produces high quality food with minimal impact on the environment. Sustainable agriculture uses natural biological cycles and resources to produce food grown without synthetic fertilizers, hormones, antibiotics, pesticides or herbicides.

Animals on sustainable farms are housed and treated humanely. Factory farm practices are not employed. Workers on sustainable farms are paid a living wage. Sustainable agriculture contrasts with large-scale industrial agriculture that routinely uses large quantities of synthetic chemicals in the mass production of food. Persistent heavy use of those chemicals creates runoff that pollutes nearby water resources, leaves toxic residues that are ingested when foods are consumed, and creates resistance to antibiotics that are used to prevent or treat diseases when animals are housed in cramped, overcrowded conditions.

wyebrookfarm_about_pics_internandchickenTo celebrate Earth Day 2014, Villanova’s Earth Day Committee has invited Dean Carlson, founder and owner of local Wyebrook Farm in Honeybrook, PA, to present the keynote address on sustainable agriculture. This event will take place in the Connelly Center Cinema at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, April 22, 2014. Wyebrook Farm is managed according to sustainable agricultural practices, and it provides food to the local community.

The keynote address will cap off a day of sustainability-themed activities that will include an indoor sustainability fair from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the lower level of Connelly Center, along with a concurrent outdoor farmer’s market. The fair and market will feature information on alternative energy sources, a raffle, green tours of campus, T-shirt tie-dyeing, locally grown produce and breads, food samples, green jobs, student projects and environmentally friendly vendors.

center env transOn the following morning, Wednesday, April 23, 2014, Falvey Memorial Library will host a panel discussion on sustainable agriculture from 8:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. in the Speakers’ Corner. Panelists will include Villanova and outside experts, including Jim Kolumban, associate director of Villanova’s Dining Services, Jonathan Hamm from Greener Partners in Malvern, PA, and Ari Rosenberg from the Center for Environmental Transformation in New Jersey, among others. Audience questions and debate will be welcome, and a continental breakfast will be provided.

For more information about sustainable agriculture and other environmental issues, please visit Falvey Memorial Library’s homepage and enter the phrase “sustainable agriculture” in the search box. Information is available in various formats, including books, videos and online resources. Accessing the Environmental Science or Geography and the Environment subject guide pages will provide contact information for subject librarians who can answer additional questions.

Villanova’s celebration of Earth Day will continue on Saturday, April 26, 2014, with an Earth Day of Service from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Participants will have the opportunity to volunteer with either Philly Urban Creators or the SHARE Program in Philadelphia. For more information about either of these activities, please contact alandis2@villanova.edu. Following the Earth Day of Service, the Student subcommittee of the President’s Environmental Sustainability Committee will host a barbecue on the grass circle outside of Kennedy and Corr Halls from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Please come out and enjoy as many Earth Day activities as possible while acquiring a fresh perspective on value of sustainable agriculture.


Easter Sunday: Dig Deeper

Easter Good Wishes Card

Easter Bunny Postcard, 1900.
Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

For a long time, Easter Sunday meant no more to me than the day my brothers and I reluctantly got out of bed and put on over-starched shirts so we could arrive at our local church for 7:30 a.m. Mass. Trapped in what we thought was a seemingly endless cycle of sitting, standing, kneeling (repeat), all we wanted to do was run home, for we knew that, if we were lucky, the Easter Bunny had come and left plastic eggs in the backyard for us to find and discover their mysterious contents. In other words, The Mystery was a complete mystery to me.

Now, when the spring rains come and the wind carries the smell of fecund earth, I don’t think about having to wake up early and putting on a suit. I think of the Greek myth of Persephone who, returning from her stay with Hades in the Underworld, signals the end of winter and the beginning of new life on earth. I think of the rabbit, that fertile animal who symbolizes the coming of spring. I think of the egg, that really simple yet powerful symbol of fertility, purity and rebirth, and of new life breaking through the eggshell much as Christ came forth from the tomb. I think about how these eggs were originally stained red, as in the postcard above, in memory of the blood Christ shed during the Crucifixion for us.

The most important of Christian feasts, Easter, “the great day,” celebrates the passion, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, who has given us new life by dying for our sins. I wish this time of the year reminds you, too, what a gift of hope the light of spring is after so much winter darkness.

Easter – Dig Deeper:

Here are just a few of the resources on Easter available at Falvey:

Passover and Easter: Origin and History to Modern Times 

An excellent and exhaustive study treating the histories and comparisons of Passover and Easter. Recommended for undergraduates and graduate students alike.

Journey to Easter: Spiritual Reflections for the Lenten Season

Written by Pope Benedict XVI, this title discusses the meaning of the Easter season, the birth, death, passion and resurrection of Christ, and more, in a very meditative style.

Easter Vigil and Other Poems 

A collection of Poems written by Pope John Paul II before he became Pope.

The Challenge of Easter

A very short and highly accessible introduction to what Easter means and why we celebrate it.

Easter in the Early Church: An Anthology of Jewish and Early Christian Texts 

A very thorough collection of texts with commentary on Easter in the early church from Jewish, Greek, Latin and New Testament writers.

Revisiting the Empty Tomb: The Early History of Easter 

Explores how the Gospels vary on what happened at the empty tomb of Christ and provides careful discussions of the origins of Easter.

Urbi et Orbi Message of Pope Francis – Easter 2013

This papal address and blessing Urbi et Orbi (“to the City [of Rome] and the World) was given by Pope Francis on Easter in 2013 and explains how Easter is the exodus, the passage of human beings from slavery to sin and evil to the freedom of love and goodness.

Warmest wishes on Easter from everyone at Falvey Memorial Library.

Alex Williams theology liaisonAlexander Williams, ’11 MA, is the temporary librarian liaison to the Department of Theology and Religious Studies and a research librarian on the Academic Integration and the Information and Research Assistance teams. He is currently pursuing an MS in Library and Information Science at Drexel University’s iSchool.

Our Dig Deeper series features links to Falvey Memorial Library resources curated and provided by a librarian specializing in the subject, to allow you to enhance your knowledge and enjoyment of seasonal occasions and events held here at the Library. Don’t hesitate to ‘ask us!’ if you’d like to take the excavation even further. And visit our Events listings for more exciting upcoming speakers, lectures and workshops! 



Easter Poem

Last Supper Da VinciI remember mourning, hiding,
Afraid of barbarous soldiers,
Of being recognized again,
Failing, denying You … again.

My staunch resolve of willpower
Melted, crumpled in just hours.

And You knew; You predicted it.
Yet Your words, the way You said it
Did not accuse but let You show,
You love me despite what You know.

Remembering our last exchange,
I had wished to go back and change
My words to appreciation
And not ones of trepidation.

Your arrest, trial, torture, death
Thrust upon us, on me, so fast,
No final words with fervid breath
Nor time to process all that passed.

Where shall I go? Back to time in
Capernaum, to safeness, fishing?
Can I resume being Simon
Without yearning for more, wishing?

After these past three years, could I
Now pretend not to know the Truth?
Could I, for a fourth time, deny
My allegiance and Your worth, too?

Had plans for me, named me Peter,
Said You’d use me to build Your church,
Why, Lord, did You choose me leader,
And leave Your faithful in a lurch?

Did my brother apostles see
My fear, denials, failure, guilt?
How could one so weak ever lead
Them, build upon what You have built?

Had I known then what I know now,
To walk by faith and not by sight,
I’d not dwell on fear, I’d allow
Your fealty to be my might,

To trust in You, accept Your plan
Even though I don’t understand,
To let go of biased notions
And keep heart and spirit open.

Thank you, Lord, for sending Your Son,
For His example—how to live.
Your Gift is the essential one:
The prime love only You can give.

Poem written 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.

Image courtesy of  the Wikimedia Foundation. This work is in the public domain in the United States, and those countries with a copyright term of life of the author plus 100 years or less.


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.

“First Impressions”
Mary Grace Mangano

I’m convinced we never see
people properly
the first time.
You can’t look at someone
and see him
until you know him.
Have seen him writing
with pencil
or patting a dog
or sneezing
putting on socks
buttoning a coat
blowing on an eyelash
to make a wish.

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.

Like this poem? Come to the Open Mic Poetry ReadingWed., April 23, 12 – 1 p.m. and you may get to hear this author read her poems. You’re also welcome to share your own. 


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Last Modified: April 18, 2014