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The Falvey Scholars: Kate Henderson

  • Posted by: William Repetto
  • Posted Date: May 23, 2018
  • Filed Under: Library News

Kate Henderson, of Havertown, Pa., has been named a 2018 Falvey Scholar for her work on a project titled “Niche Modeling of Todus Birds in the Greater Antilles.” An Honors Biology major, Henderson also minors in biology.

She credits Dr. Peleg Kremer of Geography & the Environment as well as Dr. Robert Curry, biology, and graduate student Holly Garrod for helping her along the way with this project. You’ll find excerpts of her interview with Falvey Memorial Library below.

Henderson poses for a photo at Falvey’s entrance.

William Repetto: You’re from nearby. Has coming to Villanova always been your plan?

Kate Henderson: It had been on the radar for a while because it was nearby and actually both of my parents teach here, so I had known about the school but it was when I was starting to look at places that I really loved the environmental science program and I liked that it was a smaller school, that was close by; I loved it when I visited.

WR: And what about your major? Have you always wanted to study something science related?

KH: Yeah, I had known of environmental science for a while, but I think I was in second grade when I decided that I wanted to do conservation biology; we watched a video on saving the manatees and somehow that just clicked, like, “Yes!” that’s what I want to do. So I had pretty much always known some form of biology and environmental science, and then it was high school when I finally started taking some of those classes and I was like “oh good! That’s definitely what I want to do.”

WR: That must have involved a lot of lab work. What’s it like working in a lab?

KH: I do a lot of mapping and computer analysis so I have a lot of flexibility there in terms of when stuff fits into my schedule and it’s more like I’ll have the goals for the week of what I want to do, but I know for a lot of friends who work in labs that are a little more lab research based there that they would be in with more specific hours.

WR: What was the research question for this project in particular?

KH: I studied these five species of birds called Todus. They are a genus of birds that are all native to the Caribbean and they are really interesting because of the five species, three of them are species on an island by themselves, so there is one on Cuba, one in Jamaica, and one in Puerto Rico and then there are two species that are on hispaniola together. As a wider research interest question, it is really interesting to compare how does the ecology differ from the three species that are alone versus the two species that are together; but do you see competition between the two, do you see any differences in how they live and how they use their environments, so that’s sort of the larger area I was going into.

I was also interested because it is this really interesting question but there has not been a ton of studies on these birds, there’s still a knowledge gap that there really isn’t a lot of specific information about exactly where do they live on the islands and what are there populations like. So I was interested in trying to approach it from a perspective, kind of bringing in the geography of it and can I make detailed range maps predicting where the birds are found and what are the important environmental conditions for determining where they are found, kinda is the first step for future research projects.

Henderson poses for a photo in the Dugan Polk Family Reading Room.

WR: Accounting for their movements without visiting the Caribbean must involve a lot of math.

KH: I haven’t had to do a lot, the model ArcGIS uses a ton of math, a lot of machine learning stuff, but luckily for me I don’t have to put as much math into it, the software does that part.

WR: What are your plans for this project moving forward?

KH: I’m really hoping to eventually be able to publish from this project. I would enjoy that. And right now, because I’m a senior, the current plan it—I’m actually working next year for the National Park Service, I have a six month position in Florida. And then, after a year of doing that, I’m going to graduate school. So, I know I’m interested in conservation and ecology, going that route in graduate school. And it’s funny because before this project I never quite considered this environmental modeling, niche modeling, as a specific path but I’ve found it’s something I really enjoy since doing this thesis.

WR: Did you use the library often in its composition?

KH: Yes, especially the library’s online databases, I use those a lot. Since it’s a topic not a lot has been published on there aren’t really books but I did have a heavy reliance on those databases. I think it was Robin Bowles who would come and talk to my marine biology class to talk about research skills in the library’s databases, so I took notes on that and I definitely utilized that a lot this year especially because the topic is hard to find information on so I was using a lot of keywords.


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Article and photos by William Repetto, a graduate assistant in the Communication and Marketing Dept. at the Falvey Memorial Library. He is currently pursuing an MA in English at Villanova University.

 


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The Falvey Scholars: Patrick Monagle

  • Posted by: William Repetto
  • Posted Date: May 22, 2018
  • Filed Under: Library News

Patrick Monagle, of Landenberg, Pennsylvania, has been named a 2018 Falvey Scholar for his work on a project titled “Progressive Leadership and Economic Development in China.” When asked about the emotions accompanying his achievement, Monagle responded, “I’m just very thankful that I was selected. It’s a great honor.”

Monagle credited Professor Fred Young, VSB, and Professor David Ratigan, VSB, for directing him on the project. You’ll find excerpts from the rest of our interview below.

Monagle poses for a photo at the entrance of Falvey Memorial Library.

William Repetto: What inspired your focus on China for this project?

Patrick Monagle: I’ve been doing something on China every semester since second-semester freshman year. As an Economics and Political Science double major, I can work with China a lot – whether the US and China will go to war, why we won’t go to war, why there’s disparity in China. I forget the other ones, but I progressively built on it up until the research seminar for my Political Science class. I wanted to look at coast vs. non-coast region, and that was really what this project morphed into.

WR: You must know a lot about the different aspects of China then. How did you settle on this topic?

CM: I really fine-tuned it just this semester – last semester for the Senior Seminar for Economics, I just looked at four provinces, and that takes a while to download, that data. To give you an idea – four provinces I looked at, probably ten variables, and to do that, I downloaded Excel sheets that were only available when I was on-campus using the library’s resources, so that took a couple hours to put that into an Excel sheet. After that paper was done, I decided to take it a little further and expand it to all 31 areas, so all-in-all, the final data set I made was over 300 excel sheets, copy and pasted into one.

WR: Did you continue learning from this project? What was your favorite part?

CM: I definitely have a much greater respect for data; I don’t know if that’s my favorite part, but it’s definitely the thing I walked away with. I guess my favorite part is learning more about China as a whole; this is the deepest dive I’ve ever done in a project in gathering the data and running the data, but I’m walking away thinking to myself “getting solid data is really difficult,” and I have much better appreciation for the people that put together this data – 50 years’ worth of 25 variables in one Excel sheet.

Monagle poses for a photo in the Dugan Polk Family Reading Room.

WR: What’s next for this project? Do you plan on publishing?

PM: I’m talking with my professors about refining it and maybe submitting it to one or two competitions; I’ve been working with it for so long that I know its faults better than anyone, so it’s a question of whether I can acknowledge there are faults and see if I can address that in a reasonable matter.

WR: And what’s next for you personally?

PM: I’ll be working at Morgan Stanley in New York in their Operations Division, so not sure what branch of Morgan Stanley I’ll be supporting directly. I interned with them last semester, and it was supporting their Wealth Management Division, but I could literally be doing anything at the firm in just a couple months. So while I have a much greater appreciation for research, we’ll see whether I go pivot and go into research, but we’ll see.


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Article and photos by William Repetto, a graduate assistant in the Communication and Marketing Dept. at the Falvey Memorial Library. He is currently pursuing an MA in English at Villanova University.


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The Falvey Scholars: Elizabeth Eby

  • Posted by: William Repetto
  • Posted Date: May 21, 2018
  • Filed Under: Library News

Elizabeth Eby of Bedford, New Hampshire has been named a 2018 Falvey Scholar for her work on a project titled “Secrets to Success: A Comparative Study of Student Voice Initiatives in High Schools.” During her time at Villanova, Eby has been a member of the Blue Key Society and has served as a tutor for Campus Ministry and the Sophomore Service Learning Community.

Eby, who plans on pursuing a doctorate in education after completing the Alliance for Catholic Education program at Notre Dame, credits Professor Jerusha Conner, education, and Professor Stacey Havlik, counseling and education, and the honors program generally for helping her along the way. You’ll find excerpts of her conversation with Falvey below.

Eby poses for a photo at the entrance to Falvey Memorial Library.

William Repetto: What made you choose Villanova during your college search process?

Elizabeth Eby: When I was going through the college search process, I knew that I wanted a Catholic school—that was one way for me to narrow my search down—with a strong academic program and a lot of school spirit, so that’s how Villanova got on my list. But a lot of other schools also fit that bill. Going through the college process I would say I didn’t really have a top choice. There were a lot of schools where I could see myself enjoying and doing well.

It wasn’t until I was accepted to Villanova and I came back for Accepted Students’ Day, I fell in love with the school on that day. Just everyone I met was so friendly and welcoming and approachable. I could sense a strong community, and I felt wanted. So that day coupled with, around the time of Candidates’ Day I was awarded the Presidential Scholarship, which was a big factor in my decision to come to Villanova, made me say yes and I absolutely loved it. I’m sad to leave.

WR: English, your major, and Business, your minor, are two seemingly very different fields. How did you end up studying both?

So, growing up, English and Math were always my favorite subjects, which is kind of weird because they’re kind of different disciplines. And so, coming to Villanova, I wasn’t sure exactly what I wanted to do. I guess growing up I always had in the back of my mind that I might be interested in teaching, but coming to Villanova that wasn’t something I necessarily I intended on doing. So, I actually came as a business student and was thinking for a while of maybe majoring in finance and doing something sort of mathy and financey and I don’t know, I liked the idea of doing something sort of mathy but also working with people.

My sophomore year I took two English courses and loved them. And so, decided to switch out of the school of business, finish the minor, but major in English, so that’s sort of how I found my way into the English major. So yes, English has always been an interest of mine and teaching has always been an interest of mine, but it took me sort of—I sort of meandered to find my way here.

Eby poses for a photo in the Dugan Polk Family Reading Room.

WR: Let’s talk a bit about your Falvey Scholars project. What was your research question?

EE: My research question was, “What conditions lead to the successful implementation and institutionalization of student voice programs in high schools?” Student voice is a growing concept in the field of education. It’s the idea of giving students a voice, or active role in educational decision making and planning, so giving students a say in their schools. There’s a lot of research out there that details why student voice is important, but there needs to be more research on how to best structure students voice programs and structure schools in a way that gives students a voice. My research question was an attempt to get to the how: what are the conditions are the key for successful student voice programs, what conditions need to be present in schools in order for these programs to be effectively implemented?

WR: And so did studying this just require going out to a bunch of schools and asking questions? 

EE: Yeah, so I found three schools with active student voice programs and over the summer I interviewed principals, teachers, and students in the schools who were involved in the student voice programs to ask about their experience.

Will: What was the conclusion you came to? 

EE: In my paper, I decided to highlight and focus on two key conditions for success. The first is the support of the administration, so the principals played a really key role in ensuring the success of the student voice program. And then the creation of a culture of care and trust and mutual respect. I detail that in my paper, and I also propose a framework that I call the Three P’s. I suggest thinking about Participation and Passion and Power, all elements that contribute to the success of student voice. So, my findings were twofold. Number one, here are the two conditions I found were most prominent across all three schools. Number two, here’s a sort of theory that I would like to propose and use to evaluate the three programs that I looked at.

I want to add that student voice is a very relevant topic given that all that’s going on in the news recently. We’re seeing students campaign for changes to the American educational system through the Never Again movement and the organization of marches and dialogues to protest gun violence, for example. Current events such as these indicate that students desire to be heard, and I think it’s important for schools to take that energy and help support students as they call for changes.

Eby gets a photo taken while dropping her pose for just a moment at the entrance. We’ll call it a candid shot.

WR: Can you tell me a little bit about how the library here has played a role in your experience here at Villanova and getting to where you are?

EE: Through the library, I’ve just been able to have access to so many resources I wouldn’t have otherwise. For example, for several of my classes and also at the start of the VERF program we’ve had workshops led by library staff. Like, for some of my English classes, Sarah Wingo led some workshops for us. For the VERF program, Alfred Fry led a workshop for us. Those two individuals and the library staff in general have been super eager to share, “Look, here’s all the library has to offer you,” and also super willing to answer questions. So I think for this thesis project, I really took advantage of the library’s resources as I was conducting my literature review, and developing my research question, and looking for different methodological pieces to develop my methodology. I found the staff to be super accessible. Anytime I had a question, they were always willing to answer.


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Article and photos by William Repetto, a graduate assistant in the Communication and Marketing Dept. at the Falvey Memorial Library. He is currently pursuing an MA in English at Villanova University.


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The Falvey Scholars: Nathaniel Gallishaw

  • Posted by: William Repetto
  • Posted Date: May 16, 2018
  • Filed Under: Library News

Nathaniel Gallishaw, of Seekonk, Massachusetts, has been named a 2018 Falvey Scholar for his work on a project titled “Investigation of Reclaimed Asphalt Pavement Properties for Sustainable Infrastructure.” Beyond his studies, Gallishaw works as the treasurer of the Institute of Transportation Engineers and interned at

Gallishaw credits Professor Leslie Myers McCarthy, Civil and Environmental Engineering; Professor Jonathan Hubler, College of Engineering; and Dr. Kristin Sample-Lord, College of Engineering for guiding him to success. He also thanked the students who laid the foundation for his work before him in an interview with Falvey. You’ll find excerpts from that conversation below.

Gallishaw poses for a photo at Falvey’s entrance.

William Repetto: What specific program are you in?

NG: Civil engineering. Yeah, Bachelor of Science, Civil Engineering, there’s like five different sub-disciplines of civil engineering, so I’ve taken classes in all of them. The one that Dr. McCarthy and I have been working in is mostly transportation, but also some geo-technical aspects as well, and some environmental aspects as well. It’s definitely a multidisciplinary type research project, but I’ve had the class experience in all those different disciplines, so I feel like the program has prepared me well for this.

WR: What led you to choose that major?

NG: Just an interest in the built environment; I was recommended in high school, my guidance counselor said, “you should look into engineering” because I had an interest in science and math, and then when I was looking at the different disciplines of engineering, civil just stood out because of the projects that civil engineers work on. People see those – the buildings and bridges – every day, and just making an impact on people’s lives with the engineering work you do. That really stood out to me.

W: What’s the method for studying as a Civil Engineer, especially with your project on reclaimed asphalt pavement in particular? Do you do hands-on lab work or is it more reading?

N: It was a little of both. At first, it was seeing what research was out there regarding this topic. It’s a relatively new, novel idea, so there was a limited amount. Most of the research done was about using it in new asphalt mixes; using that, they had explored some of the properties of RAP, so a lot of what we did after that review of literature was lab testing just to replicate those studies done, to confirm those values of different quantitative properties, and also to run new tests that can tell us about certain different parameters that those mix designs need to have but may not have been tested before on RAP itself – it’s been tested on other aggregates. So I would say the lab was a good portion of the year, the initial literature review was more to get a background, and then the lab-work was a good part of it.

Gallishaw poses for a photo in the Dugan Polk Family Reading Room.

W: Is the lab work your favorite part?

N: My favorite part was probably just the feeling of contributing something to the base of knowledge – I look at these massive journals with all these articles by PhDs in their fields, and there’s such a vast array of knowledge there.  It’s just a very satisfying feeling, to do something novel, as opposed to learning from professors who’ve done their own research on stuff; the conclusions have already been established, it’s satisfying just being able to do something innovative in a sense.

WR: How does this work in particular help your future? Do you plan on going onto a graduate program? Does this help you establish your own practice in the field?

N: At this point, I’m still undecided over whether I’m going to go to grad school, or whether I’m going to work in the industry, but it’s definitely helped in regards to grad school applications. There’s that prior experience that has been very useful in talking to professors, the fact that I have that groundwork in doing lab-work, defining hypotheses, and testing, and that’s been very helpful. For industry context as well, I think it just adds a good diversity of experience because I did an internship last summer, but to have the research as well shows a good variety to show employers.


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Article and photos by William Repetto, a graduate assistant in the Communication and Marketing Dept. at the Falvey Memorial Library. He is currently pursuing an MA in English at Villanova University.


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The Falvey Scholars: Simran Kripalani

  • Posted by: William Repetto
  • Posted Date: May 15, 2018
  • Filed Under: Library News

Simran Kripalani, of Edison, New Jersey, has been named a 2018 Falvey Scholar for her project “Death and Dying: The Literature, Philosophy, and Practices of Adult and Pediatric End-of-Life Care.” Her project revolves around the question: is it possible to die a good death? Ethics and religiosity lied at the center of this project and, in fact, inspire much of what Kripalani does outside the classroom as well.

“Religion’s all over, Eastern and Western religions tell us to be a good person, tell us to fight for each other, for equality, so most of my extracurriculars here are promoting that,” she said during an interview with Falvey. She also credited Professor Michael Tomko, humanities, and Dr. Angela DiBenedetto, biology, for inspiring and advising her throughout her project. She also graciously thanked her parents for their support. You’ll find excerpts from our conversation below.

Simran Kripalani poses for a photo at Falvey’s entrance.

William Repetto: I’ve heard you’re pursuing a broad course of study here at Villanova. Has that broad course of studies helped you with this particular project?

Simran Kripalani: Yes, so I’m a bio and humanities major. I came in as a bio major. I took my regular pre-med courses that I had to take, and then I went to the career fair, stumbled upon the humanities department, talked to them, and then took a class just for fun. It was actually called “God,” so how does God play a role in my life? Then I took three other gateways – it’s a four-gateway class; it’s “God, Person, Society, and the World.” What is your place in all of these things? So that actually helped me a lot with my career path and who I want to be as a person, cultivating who I am and also how that applies to being a good healthcare professional. So that helped me a lot.

WR: Has it always been your plan to attend med school and become a doctor?

SK: I actually wanted to be a veterinarian, but then I worked at an animal hospital for two years, and it was a little too depressing for me – there was a lot of euthanizing and everything happening – so I started to shadow physicians, and then I felt I wanted to do healthcare, but I didn’t know what. I always wanted to be in that path; I just didn’t really know what exactly I wanted to do.

WR: Let’s talk about your project. Can you give me an overview? And tell me what you argued?

SK: Because I’m a bio and humanities major, I kind of took a multi-disciplinary approach; I did a lot of research with scientific articles and research articles about the psychosocial side, whether it’s interviewing physicians, interviewing people, parents who had their children die, or people with terminal illnesses themselves. I did that path, and I also did fictional literature, and I also analyzed the Bhagavad Gita, which is the Hindu religious texts, St. Augustine – so the City of God – and St. Bellermine , which is another Catholic saint. I also looked at fictional literature, so Hannah Coulter, The Death of Ivan Ilyitch, which is a big one, so I wanted it so that I not only get the scientific and empirical facts, but that I also have stories.

I felt like I needed more of that story portion and that I needed it to be more unique, so the last thing I did was – so basically I have a three-part thesis: my first part is how do you die a good death, or can you die a good death, and what factors does it take to die a good death? My second part is: does any of that change when you’re focusing on a pediatric population?

And then my last part is how do I work with healthcare professionals to see how they handle the dying process, how do they cope with it and also what are the take-aways that you can get from the dying process?

I argued that yes it is, and there are many factors it takes to die a good death. I basically go through every factor and I argue that we don’t need every factor to die a good death; each death is a unique and individual process, but those are some considerations we should keep in mind.

Kripalani poses for a photo in the Dugan Polk Family Reading Room.

WR: Did you find that the subjects of your interviews gave mostly the same answers? Or were they largely disparate?

SK: I found that most of the people I talked to and compared to the literature preserved the uniqueness of each family and also kept a very holistic approach to dying a good death, which is great because when you think of palliative care movements now and hospice care movements now, it’s a lot more integrated; it’s not just pain and symptom management. It’s “let’s take into account our religion, our spirituality, our relationship with our family, our relationship with our own bodies, our hobbies” so it’s a lot more multifaceted. I’m glad I kind of found that in both personal interviews and also in reading literature.

WR: Did you use the library often in the course of your work? What about during your Villanova career?

SK: Oh I’m here every day. This is my study spot; it’s also where I meet all my friends. I probably have thirty books checked out now. I’m always here… the 24 hour lounge or back near the old stacks, as long as I get a table.


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Article and photos by William Repetto, a graduate assistant in the Communication and Marketing Dept. at the Falvey Memorial Library. He is currently pursuing an MA in English at Villanova University.

 


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The Falvey Scholars: Agnes Cho

  • Posted by: William Repetto
  • Posted Date: May 14, 2018
  • Filed Under: Library News

Agnes Cho, a nursing major from Yonkers, Westchester County, New York, has been named a 2018 Falvey Scholar. Cho’s project “Unintentional Gun Violence by Toddlers & Pediatric Nurse Practitioners’ Preventative Measures” addresses the ability of nurses to prevent tragic gun accidents in homes with young children. “I think that asking questions, first of all, is the most important part,” Cho quipped during an interview with Falvey, “And if you’re curious enough, the answers will come.”

During the course of our interview, Cho credited Honors Program Director Dr. Thomas Smith and her mentor Dr. Elizabeth Burgess Dowdell with inspiring her work. She also stressed the importance of finding a mentor in studies generally. You will find further excerpts from that interview below.

Cho poses for a photo at the entrance of Falvey Memorial Library.

William Repetto: What brought you from New York down here to Villanova?

Agnes Cho: That’s actually a funny story. I had it added to my list by my guidance counselor and I hadn’t known about it and she knew that I was interested in nursing programs, so she put it on my list. And after that, I started digging and I visited this school. After that, I really liked the feel of the campus—I guess just the cohesiveness of everyone kind of coming together. So I decided to come here.

WR: If you were to put the conclusions that you came to in your project for people who maybe aren’t nurses, how would you say it?

AC: Well, so far, the advanced practice registered nurses are doing a great job at screening and assessing, but the problem is that there aren’t standardized assessment tools; there are no official guidelines. There’s kind of very, very general goals and objectives in terms of trying to promote more safety, but there isn’t a specific nursing tool. And similarly, once families are identified who maybe don’t know as much about safe gun storage in the home, there isn’t really a resource or formal teaching plan to provide those families either.

I guess the main takeaway is that the APRN’s advanced practice nurses are doing a great job on their own, but they’re doing so without official resources. It would be great if we could make those standardized and provide those resources in the future.

WR: Does your project propose a solution for this lack of assessment? Did you develop your own tool?

AC: No, my project was more asking about what is being done right now, so the nursing processes I remember: ADPIE – Assess, Diagnose, Plan, Implement, and Evaluate – the first step of that is to Assess. Because there’s not that much literature out there, I wanted to see what was being done before we decided to implement new changes. Mine was just the “A” piece of the process.

 

Cho poses for a photo in the Dugan Polk Family Reading Room.

WR: It sounds like this project took shape over a long period of time. Did you enjoy writing all of it? It also sounds very humanistic. Was there an element of philosophy to your project?

AC: So I guess my love of writing kind of grew, and in high school, I remember never having the privilege of taking a philosophy course, but the way I asked my questions and placed importance more so on the questions than the answers made me think in a philosophical way even if I didn’t know that’s what I was doing. So when I got to college and I discovered there was a word for it, I realized this was my other passion.

I wanted to be a nursing major because throughout my childhood and my education, I’ve always loved science, and I really believe in using knowledge to make the surroundings of other people better, so I think there are many ways people can do that, but for me, I found nursing to be a noble way to bring science, knowledge, and just that very, very basic human-to-human contact together.

WR: Do you see this work as fitting in with your career path? What’s next for you?

AC: Yes. I’m going to take the nursing boards, which are called the NCLEX and after that I’ll be board-certified and able to practice. I would love to practice in a heart-vascular intensive care unit, so I’m looking for jobs doing that, and I think that’s what’s next for me.


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Article and photos by William Repetto, a graduate assistant in the Communication and Marketing Dept. at the Falvey Memorial Library. He is currently pursuing an MA in English at Villanova University.


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’Cat in the Stacks: Signing Off

CAT-STAX4I’m William Repetto, a second-year graduate student at Villanova University. This is the “‘Cat in the Stacks” column. I’m your ‘cat. I’ll be posting about college life, about learning and growing here at Villanova, and, of course, about the Falvey Memorial Library’s role.


It’s a short drive down Route 1, and a confusing interchange to I-76 West, then a turn south on 476 until a short drive down Lancaster Ave that brings you from La Salle University to Villanova University. Or the opportunity to expand the horizons of your history undergrad with a graduate degree in English ­– that could bring you to Villanova from La Salle as well, especially if the former offers you a very fulfilling graduate assistantship at their campus library.

Here’s me presenting our Diversity and Inclusion Resource Guide idea at Pitch Day, 2017 – one of my favorite memories here at Falvey.

 

When I think about how far some of my fellow graduate students have traveled to be here at ’Nova, I often feel blessed to have had such a minor change in location and studies. I usually have this thought when I park my car over at the Law Garage and start my walk toward Falvey. In fact, I’ve come to see this stroll from west campus to the library as a metaphor for my experience here at Villanova.

As I set out down route 1 from La Salle, so every morning I start walking down the hill from the garage to the train station. As I started my studies here at ’Nova, so too did I feel pulled heavily downward toward readings and papers more difficult than any other I’d yet read or written. Little did I know how quickly things could change. In one very, very short year, I found myself adapted to the workload, and the downward movement leveled off.

My morning walk levels off in the halls of the underground SEPTA tunnel. In my studies, I too ended up in a strange land – albeit a much more scenic one. During the summer between my first and second years, I enrolled in the Abbey Theatre Summer Studio Program. In the course of an MA, I somehow found myself in totally unfamiliar territory – writing a play of all things. My initiation felt somehow complete.

Many thanks to everyone who has helped me along the way so far, here at Falvey and beyond.

From here began the uphill climb to the thesis and, ironically enough, the library. Every workday I reached Falvey with the same sense of pride and accomplishment that accompanied my acceptance to Villanova. This morning, as I make this walk for a final time, as I feel the weight of my thesis removed, this is a sense of accomplishment that I’ll never forget. I found my way here a determined explorer, and I arose a Wildcat.


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Article by William Repetto, a graduate assistant in the Communication and Marketing Dept. at the Falvey Memorial Library. He is currently pursuing an MA in English at Villanova University.


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The Highlighter: It Takes a Village – Signing Off


The Highlighter is not a sentimental blog. If you have been following it from its start, you’ll notice that it’s changed in the last year. The Highlighter went from a once-every-now-and-then video tutorial to a weekly column covering topical resources available at or through Falvey. It is that time in every graduate assistant’s career, however, when I must graduate and move on, so this Highlighter will be very sentimental.

One of my favorite moments at Falvey was getting to Highlight the Diversity and Inclusion Resource Guide, my work on which earned me a Meyer Award, pictured here.

In the year that I took over the Highlighter, we’ve covered such topics as Octavius Catto, Advocacy Week, and Lit Fest. Bringing to light the resources we have at Falvey to deepen your experience or understanding of these topics has been a pleasure for me, but I want to mention that assembling these resources is almost never done alone; it requires, as my final highlight, an entire library village.

Let me explain the process to you. Our Comm. & Marketing Department Team Leader Joanne Quinn comes to a meeting and tells me the major events on campus or elsewhere that the Highlighter could cover for those looking to deepen their understanding, or, our Library Events and Program Coordinator Regina Duffy reminds me about an event scheduled here at the library that the Highlighter might cover beforehand by directing visitors to helpful resources.

From there, you might think that I type in a simple search and assemble all the information I find. Wrong. We actually have too many resources for that to be effective. I consult the professionals. If I need to know the depth of a particular database, I contact our subject librarians for information about the appropriateness of a particular database for connecting to an event. If I need to find a book, the access services staff can quickly locate a call number, but they also seemingly have encyclopedic knowledge about the particular locales of sometimes very specific types of information. (I have the sneaking suspicion that they might be magical beings, sent to us from the research gods.)

Here’s a photo of one half of the Comm. & Marketing Dept. taking in the Idea Accelerator’s “Way too Early For Christmas” Party, also always one of my favorites.

With my assignment collected and my information assembled. I set to work bringing the resources to you in an organized fashion, of course bothering PATW author Hunter Houtzer during the composing process. This is how I write a typical Highlighter – but not this week, not on my very last one. This week I just wanted to highlight for you the special love I’ve had in my heart, and will continue to have, for this library village that took me in two years ago.

Thank you!


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Article by William Repetto, a graduate assistant in the Communication and Marketing Dept. at the Falvey Memorial Library. He has just completed his MA in English at Villanova University.

 


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’Cat in the Stacks: [Too] Blessed to be Stressed

  • Posted by: William Repetto
  • Posted Date: May 3, 2018
  • Filed Under: Library News

CAT-STAX4I’m William Repetto, a second-year graduate student at Villanova University. This is the “‘Cat in the Stacks” column. I’m your ‘cat. I’ll be posting about college life, about learning and growing here at Villanova, and, of course, about the Falvey Memorial Library’s role.


I have three Cats in the Stackses… or however you would say that… to bring you during my time here as a graduate assistant at Falvey. (I get choked up just typing that!) It’s been a real pleasure for me, as I contemplate my next step in life, to reflect and think not only of my time as ’Cat in the Stacks but also to look at how my predecessor Michelle Callaghan used her final posts.

Enough sappy stuff, though. We have vacation on the horizon!

Using the search terms “’Cat in the Stacks” and “Finals,” I came across a post that Callaghan shared that I’d like to reproduce for you here; she titled it “Visualizing Success:”

Visualize success with me.

My mind is clear. When I breathe, I am breathing fully. I am still.

I am motivated. I am intelligent. I am prepared.

I trust in the work I’ve done this semester. I have mastered this knowledge, and I can show how.

I am stressed, but I accept that stress—and I am blessed to be stressed, to be here, to have made it to the end of another semester.

I know that there is life beyond finals. There will be a day—and that day is very soon—when finals are over. Until that day, I am focused, I am alert, and I am ready to finish strong.

I really appreciate posts like this because I think we sometimes miss the small daily ways that we can mitigate stress. Simple reminders like “I have mastered this knowledge” and “I am prepared” can go a long way in helping us breathe easier – even for me as I prepare to defend my master’s thesis!

PATW author, Hunter Houtzer, always looks to nature to relax. She probably picked these from Longwood Garden!

I almost corrected Callaghan’s line “I am blessed to be stressed,” thinking she meant “too blessed to be stressed.” I noticed in rereading, however, that she really did mean “blessed to be stressed.” As students, it’s easy to forget the long-term payoff of our work while we’re in the day-to-day trenches of a college workload. We are truly blessed though to be here at Villanova and, moreover, to be here as a community.

Speaking of our great community here, as you use these simple lines to decompress, also think about joining the library community for our Crunchtime event this Thursday!


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Article by William Repetto, a graduate assistant in the Communication and Marketing Dept. at the Falvey Memorial Library. He is currently pursuing an MA in English at Villanova University. (Graphics courtesy of Bitmoji, and Hunter and I spending hours perfecting our representations!)


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Highlighter: It’s Crunchtime!


It’s the time of year when my walk to my desk in the library brings me past hordes of engineering and math students huddled around our whiteboards, teams of future nurses cramming in those long lists of anatomical terms, and scores of writers frantically “banging out” those last two, or five, or ten pages before that term paper is due.

You might expect this week’s “Highlighter” to cover the journals and databases at your disposal for end of the semester success. You would be sadly mistaken! In this week’s column, I’d like to share some of the ways that Falvey has – and will continue to – help relieve students’ end of the semester stress.

Two students pose for a photo at our holiday event’s backdrop.

At the end of my first semester working at Falvey, in fall 2016, we brought you an Open House that featured a photo backdrop, a Will D. Cat visit, and Mario Kart. Set during the holiday season, this event gave you the chance to get out and get together as a library community as the weather cooled down. Most importantly though, events like this give you some time to laugh, relax and reflect with your classmates while you dot the semester’s i’s and cross its t’s, which is why…

Three students pose for a photo at our spud-tacular tater tot bar.

… We followed that event up the following fall semester with a visit from Pals for Life and a fully loaded tater tot bar. The tater tot bar sold itself and was a big success! I personally loved the Pals for Life visit though. Few things help me relax like hanging out with pets. How can you possibly stress about anything with such cute dogs hanging out –

A collie named Cali relaxing with students.

“How in the world, William, is Falvey Memorial Library going to top that?” you might be wondering. Drum roll please! Introducing, or shall we say “reimagining,” Crunchtime! This Thursday, May 3 at noon, Falvey will host a cereal bar – pun intended – in the first floor lounge. Come out and decompress with some of your favorite cereals! Rumor even has it that there will be a new photo backdrop featuring everyone’s favorite cereal – Will D.’s.


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Article by William Repetto, a graduate assistant in the Communication and Marketing Dept. at the Falvey Memorial Library. He is currently pursuing an MA in English at Villanova University.


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Last Modified: May 1, 2018

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