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Foto Friday: A Brief Reprieve

“Each of us needs to withdraw from the cares which will not withdraw from us. We need hours of aimless wandering or spates of time sitting on park benches, observing the mysterious world of ants and the canopy of treetops.” -Maya Angelou

Photo by Rebecca Wenger, a current senior at Marple Newtown High School in Newtown Square, PA. Wenger is a volunteer for the Communication and Marketing Dept. at Falvey Memorial Library as part of her final senior project. This fall, she plans to attend The University of South Carolina in pursuit of a BS in Marketing.


Falvey Memorial Library Service Hours: Summer 2018


Summer is finally here, Nova Nation! If you are planning to visit Falvey in the upcoming months, please check out our updated service desk hours for Villanova’s summer sessions.

Saturday, May 12 – Monday, May 28

Monday-Friday: 9am-5pm

Saturday & Sunday: Closed

Monday, May 28 (Memorial Day): Closed

Front doors and book collections will lock at 4:30pm Monday-Friday, and will unlock when the service desk opens.

Tuesday, May 29 – Tuesday, July 31

Monday-Thursday: 8am-8pm

Friday: 8am-5pm

Saturday & Sunday: 12-5pm

Wednesday, July 4: Closed

Front doors and book collections will lock at 7:30pm Monday-Thursday and 4:30pm Friday-Sunday, and will unlock when the service desk opens.

24/7 access will remain in effect for summer 2018. Villanova students, faculty and staff with valid Wildcards will still be able to access the Dugan Polk Family Reading Room, the first floor lounge and the ground, first, and second floors after-hours.

Library hours do not coincide with dining hours of operation for the Holy Grounds coffee shop. Please see Dining Services hours for retail locations. A friendly reminder that construction on Mendel Field will continue into fall 2018. Please be advised that walk paths near Old Falvey will be obstructed.


#TBT: The Ultimate Throwback

The ultimate throwback! Rob LeBlanc, First Year Experience/Humanities Librarian, maneuvers the shovel used at the ceremony to break the ground for the Library Building, Chemical Engineering Building and the U.S. Navy R.O.T.C. building on Wednesday, January 22, 1947. Check out the Villanova University Archives, housed in Falvey’s ground floor, for additional documents. For more information, contact Michael Foight, Digital Library and Special Collections Coordinator.


The Curious ‘Cat: 2018 Falvey Scholars

This week, the Curious ‘Cat is highlighting the work of the 2018 Falvey Scholars, asking the Villanova seniors, “What is the title of your project?

Patrick Monagle: “Progressive Leadership and Economic Development in China.”

Elizabeth Eby: “Secrets to Success: A Comparative Study of Student Voice Initiatives in High Schools.”

Agnes Cho: “Unintentional Gun Violence by Toddlers & Pediatric Nurse Practitioners’ Preventative Measures.”

Simran Kripalani: “Death and Dying: The Literature, Philosophy, and Practices of Adult and Pediatric End-of-Life Care.”

Kate Henderson: “Niche Modeling of Todus Birds in the Greater Antilles.”

Nathaniel Gallishaw: “Investigation of Reclaimed Asphalt Pavement Properties for Sustainable Infrastructure.”


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.



Recommended Summer 2018 Reading from English Faculty

Compiling your summer reading list? Be sure to check out these recommendations from faculty in the Department of English. Each year, English faculty share their summer reading recommendations on the department’s blog. With permission from the department, we have reprinted their faculty’s recommended summer 2018 reading list in their own words. Books highlighted below are available here at Falvey. Previous faculty recommendations are listed on the Villanova English blog.

Michael Berthold:

I’ve been teaching Octavia Butler’s Kindred for a number of years and look forward this summer to reading through the rest of her fiction. Butler visited Villanova back in 2002, and a number of the English faculty had the opportunity to lunch with her!

Joe Drury:

Here are the books I’m planning to read this summer:
Jenny Erpenbeck, Go Went Gone – much feted contemporary German author. I’ve been told the novel to read if you want to begin to understand the current European refugee crisis.
Cixin Liu, The Three-Body Problem – my sci-fi read for the summer, am told it will blow my mind.
Preti Taneja, We That Are Young – highly acclaimed new novel about 21st century India, written by someone I worked with briefly in the grim period between college and grad school.

Travis Foster:

First up, a page-turner of a memoir that addresses rural white poverty far better than the aw-shucks punditry of Hillbilly Elegy while also telling a more complex, important, and authentic story: Tara Westover’s Educated, about her experience growing up home schooled in a fundamentalist family in Idaho. Next up: Patrisse Khan-Cullors’ When They Call You a Terrorist: A Black Lives Matter Memoir, a queer coming of age story about art and activism that I couldn’t put down. It left me feeling hopeful about the possibilities for social change. Third, an engrossing and epic fantasy, the first volume in a projected ten-volume series: Brandon Sanderson’s The Way of Kings. I couldn’t stop myself and read the entire 1007-page book in three days. Finally, a book I cannot wait to read this summer, written by an incoming member of the English department: Tsering Wangmo Dhompa’s Coming Home to Tibet: A Memoir of Love, Loss, and Belonging.

Heather Hicks:

I plan to read The Power by Naomi Alderman, which is a critically acclaimed 2017 novel that imagines teenage girls develop a power that makes them physically stronger than men. I also want to read Marc Reisner’s classic nonfiction work, Cadillac Desert: The West and Its Disappearing Water. This book is alluded to in a number of recent post-apocalyptic novels about climate change, including Claire Vaye Watkins’s Gold Fame Citrus and Paolo Bacigalupi’s The Water Knife.

Kamran Javadizadeh:

I’m looking forward to reading so much this summer! But two books come to mind first:

American Sonnets for My Past and Future Assassin, by Terrance Hayes. Hayes started writing these sonnets just after the election of 2016, and the poems, each of which has the same title, and little bunches of which have been appearing in periodicals since then, are extraordinary, mind-bending, and packed, each, with fresh wonder. Two representative quotations from what I’ve seen so far: “I lock you in an American sonnet that is part prison, / Part panic closet, a little room in a house set aflame.” “Inside me is a huge black / Bull balled small enough to fit inside / The bead of a nipple ring. I mean to leave / A record of my raptures.” The book comes out in June.

In the Distance, by Hernan Diaz. I’m very curious about this novel, and I know very little about it! Except that it’s a Western that (apparently) reimagines the genre, is set in the antebellum period, tells the story of a Swedish immigrant who finds himself in California and must travel east, and is all about uprootedness and feeling lost in the strangeness of this language and this continent. It sounds great.

Yumi Lee:

My suggestion is Alexander Chee, How to Write an Autobiographical Novel, just published this spring. It’s a beautiful collection of personal essays, including some particularly fantastic writing about writing. A great read for all creative writers and lovers of reading.

Joseph Lennon:

The amazing Solar Bones by Mike McCormack.

Jean Lutes:

This summer, I’m going to read Alexis Okeowo’s A Moonless, Starless Sky: Ordinary Women and Men Fighting Extremism in Africa (2017), which sounds like an extraordinary journalistic achievement and a moving testament to the power of resistance.

Next on my list is John Banville’s Mrs. Osmond (2017), a daring sequel that follows one of my all-time favorite literary heroines, Isabel Archer from Henry James’s The Portrait of a Lady (1881), into adulthood.

Mary Mullen:

I look forward to reading John Keene’s Counternarratives (2015) this summer. It not only rethinks historical narratives about race and slavery; it works to transform how we think of history itself. As John Keene says in an interview about the book, “I place history as a linear, factually-based practice under pressure.” It is innovative and experimental, changing how we think about history by experimenting with narrative form. Professor Lee also highly recommends it (and says much of it is about Philly)!

I also plan to continue my regular summer practice of reading novels by Margaret Oliphant. Most famous for her Chronicles of Carlingford novels, Oliphant published almost one hundred (!) novels during the Victorian period. I find her novels of provincial life utterly relaxing to read. They are full of sons who disappoint their fathers, daughters who preside over their father’s dinner parties (whether their fathers like it or not), bad love matches, anxiety about social mobility, conflicts between church and chapel, warnings about financial speculation, criticism of Oxford’s exam system. I recommend starting with Miss Marjoribanks, which features one of the most socially adept characters of all time. This summer I plan to read her supernatural fiction for the first time.

Adrienne Perry (joining the English department this fall):

Here’s one of my books for the summer: Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward. I’ll have a chance to interview Ward for Brazos Bookstore this May and want to reread Sing, Unburied, Sing after discussing her work in person. I’m particularly interested in the way Ward structured her novel, moving through time and alternating points of view, as well as her treatment of the story’s speculative elements.

Meghan Quigley:

I am reading Mrs. Osmond by John Banville (Because what courage to write a sequel to Henry James’s The Portrait of a Lady! And I adore Banville’s usual lyrical but spare Irish prose style so how will he tackle endlessly metaphorical James?), Bluets by Maggie Nelson (because I enjoyed teaching The Argonauts for the English / GWS capstone course and heard this one is even better) and, of course, continuing to make my way through the new volumes of T. S. Eliot’s letters (because I love reading author’s correspondence in the summer, it makes the summer days feel long and full of potential).

Evan Radcliffe:

I’ve read (and taught) Homer’s Odyssey many times, in several different translations. I’m looking forward to reading it in Emily Wilson’s new translation, which is published by W. W. Norton and being included in Norton anthologies. Her translation (of which I’ve read parts, along with Wilson’s introduction) is noteworthy not just for her generally straightforward style and use of iambic pentameter, but also for her distinctive depiction of ancient attitudes, such as the ways the poem represents non-Greek persons or women like Helen of Troy and Odysseus’ wife Penelope. For example, at one point in Book 21, Homer describes Penelope’s hand with the word pachus. It means “thick,” but, as Wilson remarks, to use “thick” nowadays would disparage Penelope, since “in our culture, women are not supposed to have big, thick, or fat hands.” Typically, translators have ignored the word or used an adjective that seems more familiar, like “steady.” Yet pachus is an important word, unexpected and yet appropriate. It’s unexpected because when Homer uses it elsewhere in the poem, it’s for the hands of male warriors; but it’s also appropriate, because what Homer is doing is making a link between Penelope and those warriors, a link that highlights her exceptional status. In the end, Wilson decided on “muscular,” a word that both fits Penelope literally (she’s a weaver, and thus would have strong hands) and that also makes the crucial link. As I re-read it this summer, I’m anticipating other fresh perspectives on Homer’s great poem.

Jody Ross:

Pick up Leïla Slimani’s Chanson Douce if you want to practice French while reading a novel that takes hold of you like a compulsion. You can also read it in translation. It’s based on the true story of a nanny who kills her charges, and it looks deeply at something we don’t want to see: the fraught relationships between powerful parents and the powerless people they hire to care for their children.

Lauren Shohet:

Jenny Erpenbeck, Go, Went, Gone. Exploring the developing relationships between a retired Berlin classics professor and a group of undocumented African refugees, this novel intertwines questions about place, displacement, reading, identity, and humanity. It’s a wonderful read that somehow avoids both sentimentality and brutality.


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.


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.


Foto Friday: An Echo Ringing

“When we leave your sheltering walls, we shall leave an echo ringing through your treasured halls.”-Villanova Alma Mater Anthem, lyrics by Al Dubin and Music by Joe Burke

Congratulations, Villanova University Class of 2018!


Throwback Thursday: Rules and Regulations

“During the nineteenth century the library regulations were different from those of today…student may take out as many books as they wish.” -Belle Air (1943, p. 134)


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Last Modified: May 17, 2018