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Everything But the Shark Week: Considering the Lobsters

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American lobster, Homarus americanus, in front of white background

Lobsters have not always gotten respect, nor were they the gourmet delicacy we consider them today. In American Colonial times, the creature (aka the “cockroach of the sea”) washed up to the shore so plentifully (reportedly in two feet wide by two feet deep piles), that it was used as bait or fertilizer for crops, and consumed mostly as a very inexpensive source of protein.

Colonists saw how this leggy harvest provided a prodigious food source for the American Indians, and followed suit; in fact, lobster was on the menu at the first Thanksgiving. But it was so plentiful that people complained about having to eat it too often; urban legends abound that prisoners and servants would sue in order to not be fed lobster more than three times a week.

Ultimately, advances in canning, refrigeration and transportation allowed city dwellers and those in non-coastal areas to sample the creature’s delicious meat, creating a demand that resulted in people willing to pay top dollar for it.

According to the State of Maine Department of Marine Resources (DMR), the value of the state’s commercially harvested marine resources exceeded over $600 million dollars in 2018, making it the second highest year on record. Lobsters accounted for over 75% of this bounty, landing almost 120 million pounds.

And yet, lobstermen still call them bugs!

But enough about food. We’re here to tell you that the creatures themselves are amazing even when they are not covered in butter on a grilled split-top bun! Lobsters are one of a kind in the animal kingdom. For example, did you know….

  • The word origin of lobster:  If you think about it (but don’t think too hard, because you don’t want to lose your appetite,) lobsters do look like bugs. At least the Romans and Medieval British thought so. The word lobster comes from the Old English loppestre, which is related to the O.E. word for spider: loppe. Phonetically, this eventually merged with the Latin word the Romans used: locusta, or locust, creating the word lobster.
  • Anatomy: Lobsters are very closely related to insects. They are classified as an arthropodic, decapodic (10-legged) crustacea with a soft and flexible exoskeleton. They use some of those legs to eat, as they have chemosensory leg and feet hair that can catch and taste food. They can regenerate their legs, claws and antennae, and will even amputate themselves to escape danger. They come in an assortment of colors ( but only turn red when in hot water!) And here’s something you will never unsee–have you ever noticed the difference between a lobster’s two front claws? One is a pincer, and one is a crusher.
  • A reputation for cannibalism: A lobster’s preferred diet consists of crabs, sea stars, and sea urchins. But the rubber band that one sees on the lobster claws at pounds and restaurants is not to protect fishermen or diners, but to protect other lobsters as they, like the rest of us, love to eat lobster when hungry.
  • They are eaten best fresh: The reason why lobsters are kept in tanks in a restaurant is because they taste best fresh.  John Steinbeck, in Travels with Charley, visited Deer Isle, Maine, and advised that “eating lobster is as much about the experience as the taste itself. We sat with our feet dangling over the water, flicking the shells back from were they came.”

Lobster-link-alooza! A shellabration of info:

  • The University of Maine maintains a Lobster Institute. In its mission is to conduct and promote research and sustainability of lobster fishery in the US and Canada, it provides an exhaustive online list of all things lobster, including scholarly articles.
  • Searchable Sea Literature: your new favorite nautical news site, edited by Richard J. King.
  • Lobster economics from howstuffworks.com
  • Word etymology from foodie magazine Bon Appetit. Dig deeper on the site to find their lobster roll recipe-but any mayo is too much mayo, IMHO.
  • The Lobster Conservancy: not updated since 2010, but still loads of lobster 411.

Check out these resources, available at Falvey, or through interlibrary loan:

Inspirational in literature and pop culture:

  • Alice In Wonderland danced the Lobster Quadrille and stated, “Tis the voice of the Lobster: I heard him declare, You have baked me too brown, I must sugar my hair!”
  • Comic book hero Lobster Johnson was created by Mike Mignola. This character is part of the Hellboy universe and may be based on a real-life vigilante.
  • Wonderment and misconceptions about oceans and lobsters conjured fictitious sea monsters on medieval maps.  And Jules Verne raged, in 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, “My blood curdled when I saw enormous antennae blocking my road, or some frightful claw closing with a noise in the shadow of some cavity…”

In Poetry:

Too many poets to mention were inspired by lobsters, but check out New Englander poets Troy Jollimore and Ann Sexton; Scottish Orcadian George Mackey Brown, and even Jersey’s Walt Whitman’s A Song of Joys for wonderful lobster-verse.

In Books: 

Stephen King: One might think that as the reigning king of Maine-based fiction, SK would often feature lobsters, but seems to only have featured them as lobstrosities in The Dark Tower (begins in 1982) series.

The other King, Richard J., is a better source. He is an educator, author, illustrator, and edits the online reference site Searchable Sea Literature. (Incidentally, had his first lobster at the Main Line Seafood in Ardmore!) His book Lobster (2011) is must-read for a compendium of fun lobster facts and history.

Stewart O’Nan, who has collaborated with Stephen King, wrote Last Night at the Lobster, (2007) a novel which takes place over the course of the final shift at a Red Lobster being permanently closed by corporate, and the impact of it on its local blue-collar workers and clientele.

David Foster Wallace’s Consider the Lobster  (2005) essay visits the Maine Lobster Festival (cancelled this year because of COVID), where PETA usually makes an appearance. DFW articulates troubling questions about lobster and whether they feel pain; asking hey, don’t they behave like you or I would if thrown into a boiling pot of water?

Linda Greenlaw – who was featured in Sebastian Junger’s The Perfect Storm, takes readers though a lobster season in The Lobster Chronicles: Life on a Very Small Island (2002) and these days writes a Maine-based mystery series.

Cozy Mystery series involving lobsters  – What’s a cozy you ask? Amateur sleuths solving kooky crimes while juggling a day job such as lobster-fishing. Series involving lobsters in the mix include authors Barbara Ross, Shari Randall, among others.

Elizabeth GilbertStern Men (2000) From the author of the popular Eat, Pray, Love, is her debut novel about life, love and lobster-fishing.

Duncan MacMillan –  The Most Humane Way to Kill a Lobster (2012) – This British play utilizes lobster cooking metaphors of deep freezes and slow boils to mirror a midlife crisis.

Elisabeth Towsend, Lobsters (2011) Part of an 89(!) book series on food and history.

Trevor Corson’s The Secret Life of Lobsters (2009) – for a look at lobsters when they think we aren’t looking.

Nancy Frazier’s I, Lobster: A Crustacean Odyssey (2012) explores the lobster as symbols in art, myth and science.

Christopher White‘s The Last Lobster (2018) Examines the boom and possible crash of the lobster industry. Warnings to conserve began as early as 1900, with the poet Holman F. Day’s message to lobsters: “tell the dodo that you saw us when you lived down here in Maine.”

Also, surprisingly, in our online collection is a cute children’s picture book by Martha Rustad called (not surprisingly) Lobsters (2008).

And, finally, if you’re thinking about going into the business, don’t miss Bruce PhillipsLobsters: Biology, Management, Fisheries and Aquaculture (2013) for exhaustive coverage of lobster biology, management, and conservation. This book is one of hundreds of print or online resources on the business of lobstering in our collection.


Your reward for scrolling this far:

Phoebe Buffay

Phoebe Buffay says See, He’s her lobster!

 

…and of course, Phoebe Buffay from Friends provides your #1 lobster fact: “It’s a known fact that lobsters fall in love and mate for life!”


Hungry for more?

If you’re on your way down east, don’t miss Reds’ Eats in Wicasset, Maine. But, according to the New York Times, be prepared to spend a bit this year, as lobster rolls are reportedly up to $34 each  (but still worth every bite.) #blamethepandemic.

Or, stay in town and check out the Cousins Maine Lobster truck schedule­–they bring the lobster to you…and even found time to write a book about how they do it.


Joanne Quinn

Joanne Quinn ’15 MA, ’84 CLAS is Director of Communication and Marketing at Falvey Memorial Library. She will pay $34.00 for a lobster roll if she has to. 

 


 


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Photo Friday: Sunrise, Sunrise

Sunrise outside of Falvey Memorial Library

 

“I hope you realize that every day is a fresh start for you. That every sunrise is a new chapter in your life waiting to be written.”
Juansen Dizon, Confessions of a Wallflower

 


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Everything But the Shark Week: Stingrays

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To paraphrase comedian Jerry Seinfeld, what’s the deal with stingrays? Am I right? Are they the frightening creatures that punctured Steve Irwin’s heart? Or the creatures you see all the toddlers petting at the local aquarium? Or, maybe, just lovable, singing creatures like Finding Nemo’s Mr. Ray? (Or all of those things?)

Much of what we know about stingrays comes from their news features, like the 2012 stingray photo bomb. The most recent appearance of stingrays in the headlines happened in June 2021 when a Tik Tok video of a man tickling a stingray went viral. This led to debate over whether or not the stingray was enjoying the experience. The verdict was that while stingrays don’t mind being touched, they like to be touched in their own habitats, not while suffocating.

Although headlines may feature these smiling animals often, clickbait headlines usually don’t tell the whole story.

So, in the words of one famous sting ray, “Climb aboard, explorers!” as we “dive deeper” into the depths of stingray facts found in Falvey’s collection!


DID YOU KNOW STINGRAYS…

…can weigh up to 800 lbs? The same weight as a moose or grizzly bear!

…baby stingrays are called pups?

…Ancient Greek dentists used the venom from the stingray’s spine as an anesthetic?

…groups of traveling stingrays can contain up to 10,000 individuals and are called a “fever”?

…Fossil records date stingrays back to the Jurassic period, about 150 million years ago?

…there are over 200 species of stingrays?

READING RECOMMENDATIONS FOR STINGRAY FANS…

 

 

 

Jenna Newman is a graduate assistant in Falvey Memorial Library and a graduate student in the Communication Department.

 


 


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Everything but the Shark Week: Learning About the Mystical Narwhal

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slide of a narwhal from Adam Matthew Digital

This week marks the 33rd anniversary of  Discovery Channel’s Shark Week. This annual summertime milestone is celebrated with documentaries, specials, articles, and social media posts, all honoring the mystery and majesty of one of the ocean’s most feared and voracious predators—the shark.

While there are many reasons humans find sharks fascinating, the ocean’s many other inhabitants should not be overlooked. In fact, countless sea creatures are  yet to be named or even discovered.

According to Marine Bio, “an estimated 50-80% of all life on earth is found under the ocean surface and the oceans contain 99% of the living space on the planet. Less than 10% of that space has been explored by humans. 85% of the area and 90% of the volume constitute the dark, cold environment we call the deep sea. … Currently, scientists have named and successfully classified around 1.5 million species. It is estimated that there are as little as 2 million to as many as 50 million more species that have not yet been found and/or have been incorrectly classified.” So, there is proof that we still have a lot more left to learn the extent to what really lives beneath those seemingly calm ocean waters.

The narwhal is just one of the many strange and beautiful sea creatures that captivates people. This greatly understudied arctic whale leaves a lot of the imagination. Many believe that narwhals are fictional creatures plucked right out of children’s stories; glittery, sparkly, and magical cartoon-like figures. However, these mystical “unicorns of the sea” are very real.

While there is still a lot left to discover, see the resources below to learn what we do know about these elusive creatures.

 

Crack the Curious Case of the Narwhal with Some Fun Facts:

  • Average lifespan is 50 years.
  • Scientific name is “Monodon monoceros,” which means “the whale with one tooth and one horn”
  • Males (and sometimes females) have a spiral tusk protruding from their head which makes them look like a cross between a whale and unicorn.
  • Narwhal tusks are enlarged teeth, which can grow up to 10 feet.
  • Tusks have 10 million nerve endings and may play a role in how males exert dominance.
  • Every year a narwhal’s spiraling tusk grows another layer, incorporating variants of carbon and nitrogen called isotopes and some of the mercury a narwhal consumes
  • Researchers have sliced open the tusks, ground parts of them into powder, and analyzed the samples’ isotope content. The results indicate where and what a narwhal might have eaten, as well as its exposure to mercury, a potent toxin whose accumulation affects animals’ immune and reproductive systems.
  • Weigh up to 3,500 pounds and grow 18 feet in length (excluding tusk)
  • Calves are approximately 175 pounds and 4 feet in length at birth
  • Swim at speeds of 3-9 miles per hour, sometimes upside down. Researchers are not sure why.
  • Change color as they age. Newborns are a blue-gray, juveniles are blue-black, and adults are a mottled gray. Old narwhals are nearly all white.
  • Spend their lives in the Arctic waters of Canada, Greenland, Norway, and Russia.
  • Communicate using whistles, moans, and clicks.
  • Spend 2/3 of their times beneath the ocean’s surface going on deep dives.
  • Cracks in the ice allow them to breathe when needed, especially after dives, which can be up to a mile and a half deep.
  • They travel in pods ranging from two to twenty-five members.
  • Predators of the narwhal are humans, walruses, killer whales, Greenland sharks, polar bears.
  • Inuit communities use narwhal as a resource. Narwhal blubber and oil was used for lighting, heating and cooking. Narwhal skin provided Vitamin C and tusks were originally used as the tips of spears or harpoons.
  • Due to the increasing negative effects of climate change and pollution caused by new shipping, development, and noise in their natural habitat, narwhals face an uncertain future.

 

a pod of narwhals in the ocean

Dr. Kristin Laidre, Polar Science Center, UW NOAA/OAR/OER, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

 

Dive Deeper into the Narwhal’s Nest:

 The above facts were drawn from several books available in the Library’s collection.

 

Academic books/articles:

 

Video/Audio Recordings:

 

Literature:

 

Podcasts:

 

Online Exhibits/Websites:

 

Art

  • “Narwhal,” Victorian Popular Culture (Adam Matthew. Digital). Slide from the The Bill Douglas Cinema Museum.
  • “Monodon Monoceros,” Dr. Kristin Laidre, Polar Science Center, UW NOAA/OAR/OER, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.

 


headshot picture of regina duffy

Regina Duffy is a Communication and Marketing Program Manager at Falvey Memorial Library. 

 

 

 


 


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Everything But The Shark Week—Dive Deeper: Octopus

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Still of a maroon octopus from the Netflix documentary, "My Octopus Teacher.” Image courtesy of Netflix.

“My Octopus Teacher.” Image courtesy of Netflix.


This week, many individuals are celebrating the return of one of summer’s favorite pastimes…Shark Week.

At Falvey Library, we’re spotlighting a few unsung sea creatures on the blog. Should octopuses have their own week on the Discovery channel? Of course they should. I mean, they have three hearts! For additional information on octopuses (yes, that is the plural of ‘octopus’) check out the resources below.

Octopus Fast Facts:

  • Venomous.
  • Taste with their skin.
  • Can solve puzzles and use tools.
  • Change color and texture—excellent camouflage abilities.
  • Good hunters on and off land (they can leave the water for minutes at a time).
  • Octopuses can fit through any opening larger than their parrot-like beaks.
  • Can squirt deadly ink at predators.
  • Their arms (not tentacles) can even react after they’ve been completely severed.
  • Have blue blood.
  • Most species only live between one and two years.
  • Can change their body shape to mimic other animals.

Recommended Resources for Cephalopod Fans:

Check back tomorrow for some fun facts on narwhals!


Kallie Stahl ’17 MA is Communication and Marketing Specialist at Falvey Memorial Library.

 

 


 


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Everything But The Shark Week: Jellyfish, Immortal and Astounding

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Image licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license.

 

Your feelings about jellyfish might be classified as “it’s complicated.”

If you have been stung by one, you might call jellyfish frightening and even painful. If you have watched them gliding through the water, in person or films like Finding Nemo, you might label them tranquil and meditative. If you truly know jellyfish, you’d most certainly call them what they are: amazing, astonishing, and (sometimes!) immortal.

Flop aside Shark Week lovers, grab your flippers while we “dive deeper,” and explore these cool jellyfish facts found in the pages of books in Falvey’s collection!


Did you know Jellyfish…

…have no heart, brain, bones, or eyes, and their bodies are mostly water?

…travel and migrate in groups called a smack?

…have bodies, called bells, that are shaped like open umbrellas?

…either swim by floating with the current or squeezing water through their bodies?

…can sometimes revert from the adult (medusa) stage to the polyp stage and back again, effectively becoming immortal?

… come in a variety of sizes, including the largest, the lion’s mane jellyfish, whose bell can be as large as eight feet wide and can possess tentacles up to 100 feet long?

Reading Recommendations for Jelly-fans…

The above facts were drawn from several books available in the Library’s collection:

Bonus podcasts with even more jelly-facts!

Want to read some great jelly-fiction and jelly-poetry?

Keep checking back all week on the blog, where we will be exploring many other incredible creatures of the sea!

Shawn Proctor Head shotShawn Proctor, MFA, is Communications and Marketing Program Manager at Falvey Memorial Library. He was stung by a jellyfish as a child and, naturally, is writing a horror novel about jellyfish now.

 


 


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Stay Informed on Sustainability with JSTOR’s Sustainability Database

Do you have an interest in sustainability research? If so, be sure to check out JSTOR Sustainability, one of Falvey’s resources. This database provides a wide range of scholarly journals, ebooks, and research reports in effort to help you stay informed on topics related to sustainability. Having celebrated the landmark 50th anniversary of Earth Day on April 22, there is no better time to dig into this dynamic resource!

Within this database, users have the option to search for content on a broad range of topics related to sustainability. Some featured topics include:

Protesters holding a sign that says "ask not what your planet can do for you. Ask what you can do for your planet"• Agricultural productivity
• Agroforestry
• Carbon footprint
• Climate change policy
• Conservation biology
• Emissions trading
• Energy policy
• Environmental education
• Environmental engineering
• Environmental history
• Environmental law
• Food security
• Green buildings
• Human ecology
• Industrial ecology
• Land use planning
• Natural resources
• Nature conservation
• Population geography
• Renewable energy
• Resource economics
• Sustainable cities
• Sustainable urban infrastructure
• Transportation planning
• Urban development
• Waste management
• Water quality
• Wetland conservation

There are many other topics you can delve deeper into as well, depending on your interest or research needs.

Matters of sustainability impact all people, so the JSTOR Sustainability database could potentially be of use to not only scholars in environmental science/studies, sustainable engineering, global health and peace and justice fields, but really to anyone who has a general interest in climate studies or wants to learn more about living a sustainable life. In fact, Villanova University has expressed a pledge to sustainability efforts through its Climate Commitment, so the information found within this database is of great significance to all Villanovans—past, present, and future.

If you need help using this or any other library resource, you can Live Chat or email a reference librarian at ref@villanova.edu.

Be sure to check out JSTOR Sustainability to stay informed on the latest and greatest information in sustainability research.


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Regina Duffy is a Communication and Marketing Program Manager at Falvey Memorial Library.

 

 


 


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Happy Retirement to Jacqueline Smith, Finance & Administration Specialist

Photo of Jacqueline (Jackie) Smith, Finance & Administration Specialist.

Photo of Jackie Smith courtesy of Rob LeBlanc, First Year Experience & Humanities Librarian.

Imagine being greeted by a Falvey Library staff member every time you entered the building. In the late ’90s, patrons were welcomed by a door checker who would review credentials as Falvey Library was once a government documents depository open to the public weekdays 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Jacqueline “Jackie” Smith, Finance & Administration Specialist, recalls the layout of the Library when she began working as a part-time secretary in the Reference Department in 1994.

“Falvey’s first floor was the bulk of the Library. As you came in the main entrance (past the door checker), the Reference and Periodical departments were off to the right [where the Holy Grounds café is now]. The Reference office had one telephone and one computer in the office shared by three staff members. The Griffin Room was the office for periodicals and Speakers’ Corner [once referred to as ‘Tech Services’] was where we catalogued all of the books.”

Smith, currently the Library’s Finance & Administration Specialist, will be retiring on July 9, after more than 26 years of service to Villanova University. She first learned of a job opening at Falvey Library from a friend who saw the posting in the New of Delaware County newspaper. Smith, who was working for her local public library, decided to apply for the position. Working as a part-time secretary in the Reference department, Smith was offered a full-time position in 1995 where she worked in both the Reference department and Tech Services. “Falvey Library was very cohesive…everybody did everything. It was a really great learning environment.”

In 1996, Smith joined Head of Reference, Louise Green (Interim Director, Falvey Library, 1996-2000), in the Director’s Office where she worked until 2000. When Joe Lucia was hired as the new director (2002-2013), Green returned to Head of Reference and Smith returned to her split position, working in Reference and Tech Services juggling multiple projects for both departments. One of her favorite tasks was assisting librarians with class preparations. “When librarians would teach instruction classes, I would type up the exercises [the librarians] had planned to do to get students accustomed to using certain databases and academic resources. That was interesting because I always enjoyed the questions; what exercises the students were doing for different classes. I always learned something new. My entire Falvey career has truly been a wonderful learning experience.”

She also enjoyed her time spent in Special Collections. “I loved going up there. I assisted on the Sherman-Thackara Collection and often I would just sit there in awe looking at the handwriting of those beautiful letters—the language of the letters, the sentimentality that came through was just wonderful. Special Collections was my favorite place at Falvey. Working there was a treat.” In Tech Services, Smith worked on a number of projects—cataloguing books, managing supplies, and bill paying, to name but a few. “We had so many book orders that were all paid by check. We would order through our book vendors, and we would have huge stacks of invoices that would have to be sent for processing. And, of course, everything was on paper back then, so you can image how high the stacks of invoices were.”

In 2005, Smith began working in the Director’s Office as Finance & Administration Specialist, a position she’s held until her retirement. Smith aided in the Library’s transition of book vendors from Blackwell to Yankee. Additionally, she helped develop the current ledger structure in Voyager that Falvey has used since its implementation in 2009. The project, which took Smith and her colleagues years to complete, was a long process of trials and errors.

“It became obvious that the Library needed to have some kind of allocation for purchase orders in order to do a budget for various disciplines and that’s when the Voyager reports began. Trying to collaborate and coordinate the reports was a long ordeal. We had to determine how we wanted Voyager to function—dollar amounts, fund codes for disciplines, etc. It was mainly to get a budget in place because we [Falvey Library] do have bills to pay, so we needed some kind of accounting structure.”

After 26 years at Falvey Library, Smith is looking forward to spending more time with her family and grandchildren. She will be traveling to New Orleans in the fall with her husband and plans to drive to Washington state in the near future. “I’ve never visited the west coast, so I’d like to explore Oregon, Washington, California, and I would like to see the National Parks.” Smith is also the Vice President of the Father John J. Hickey Catholic War Veterans Auxiliary. Her father was a former member, so in his honor, she manages the auxiliary’s youth activities.

Smith enjoys playing board games, especially Scrabble, and plays Trivial Pursuit on Zoom with her cousins who live in England every other weekend. She frequently plays Mahjong with friends (originating in China, Mahjong is a rummy-like game played with tiles rather than cards). Frequently meeting her sisters for meals, Smith recommends visiting “Dining Under the Stars” in Media, Pa. (once COVID-19 restrictions are lifted). She recommends Hidalgo—”They have the best Mexican cuisine.” Catching up on some reading, Smith is excited to begin The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan. The novel centers around “four Chinese American immigrant families in San Francisco who start a club [The Joy Luck Club] playing Mahjong for money.”

Reminiscing on her time at Falvey Library, Smith voiced her gratitude for her colleagues. “There are so many people responsible for helping me get to where I am today. From reference librarians, to tech services, to friends in the Library helping me along the way, offering their time and expertise…I just want to say thank you. Its been a wonderful learning experience. I thank everyone who has worked with me for their help and support over these 26 years. I would like to especially thank my fellow Finance & Administration team members. Their help, support, advice, guidance and friendship will never be forgotten and is truly appreciated.”

The entire Falvey staff thanks Smith for her 26 years of service to the Library and Villanova University community! Best wishes, Jackie, and enjoy retirement. Once a Wildcat, Always a Wildcat!


Kallie Stahl ’17 MA is Communication and Marketing Specialist at Falvey Memorial Library.

 

 


 


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Falvey Focuses on Scholarship: Tara Reddy and Danielle Markey

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BY SHAWN PROCTOR

Welcome to the final installment of a 7-part series featuring the 2021 Falvey Scholars. Read more about them in Falvey’s blog archives and in the upcoming issue of Mosaic: the Library’s bi-annual publication.

Falvey Memorial Library is honored to announce the 2021 Falvey Scholar award winners. We will showcase the research of our eight young alumni on the blog and in the fall issue of Mosaic.

Sponsored by the Library and the Center for Research and Fellowships, the Falvey Scholars program recognizes outstanding undergraduate research at Villanova University. Award winners are selected from a pool of candidates generated by applications submitted by a senior Villanova University student or a group of students working on a senior project together with the recommendation of the advisor to the senior thesis or capstone project completed for academic credit.

View the 2021 Falvey Scholars Awards virtual booklet.


Researchers Brief


Falvey Scholar: Tara Reddy

Hometown: Bridgewater, N.J.

Other Honors: Fitzpatrick College of Nursing Nominee for the Meyer Innovation and Creative Excellence (ICE) Award; Sigma Theta Tau Nursing Honor Society

 

Falvey Scholar: Danielle Markey

Hometown: Larchmont, N.Y.

Other Honors: Rose Woytowich O’Driscoll Student Service Award, Sigma Theta Tau Nursing Honor Society

 

Project Title: “Interprofessional Collaboration Promotes Parkinson’s Medication Safety”

Faculty Mentor: Diane M. Ellis, MSN, RN, CCRN


 

Learn about Tara’s and Danielle’s research in his own words:

 

Tell me about your Falvey Scholar Award-winning research project.

Tara Reddy:

Parkinson’s disease (PD) is one of the most common neurodegenerative disorders, and among patients with PD admitted to the hospital, only 33% return home. The hospitalization of patients with PD can be dangerous due to the unique and variable medication regimen that patients with PD require. Often their their medication is administered inappropriately, late, or omitted within the acute care setting, which can cause a complication such as aspiration leading to a respiratory arrest, cardiac arrest, or death.

Our mock code study was conducted in five steps: participants read and signed an informed consent; a pre-test questionnaire was administered; students participated in the simulated unfolding case-study; students participated in emotional and psychological debriefing sessions and Debriefing for Meaningful Learning (DML) following the simulation; and participants completed a post-test questionnaire.

Danielle Markey:

Tara and I are a dynamic duo! We completed all of the same tasks and were able to pick up one another when one of us had trouble. We do a great job delegating tasks to each other and collaborating with to achieve success. She helped me collect data, analyze data, write literature reviews, hold discussions, create the poster for presentations, and run the skills lab.

How did Falvey Memorial Library support your research?

DM:

Falvey particularly enhanced our project in the paper portion. This study represents our first professional publication, so I knew it had to be perfect. Thankfully, we spent a whole class freshman year in the Library with an expert to show us how to use the databases like PubMed, so I felt comfortable navigating and citing these sources.

I also had a refresher course this year in my senior nursing seminar on evidence-based practice. These resources helped me gain confidence when it comes to finding reliable evidence and citing it. As a result, the paper was published in the Nursing Education Perspective journal and presented at the Villanova Research Symposium and the Collaborative Family Health Care Association Conference.

What impact did this project have on you?

DM:

I learned how to work in a team from my research experience, as well as how to speak up when working in a large group. I loved working with so many different disciplines, and I got to learn more about their scopes and how they influence the nurse’s work. This experience certainly pushed me academically. It influenced my academic goals in such a positive light because I am now aware of all of the learning that can be done outside of the classroom if you look around and try to get involved in something else.

TR:

I didn’t really know what what kind of nursing I wanted to go into after graduation. This study takes place in the intensive care unit, so two years of work I realized I could definitely see myself working in ICU…I actually have a job working in ICU after I graduate!

 

And what’s next for you?

TR:

I am working in the cardiovascular Intensive Care Unit at MedStar Washington Hospital Center in Washington, D.C.

DM:

I am currently applying to nursing positions in New York City.

 


Shawn Proctor Head shotShawn Proctor, MFA, is Communications and Marketing Program Manager at Falvey Memorial Library.

 

 


 


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Library Services Unavailable on Monday, July 5


Have a great holiday, Wildcats! Library services will be unavailable on Monday, July 5, in observance of Independence Day. Service will resume on Tuesday, July 6, at 9 a.m. For a full listing of service hours visit the Library website.

Villanova students, faculty and staff may enter the Library building 24/7 (a Wildcard is required to enter). In accordance with the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and University policies, mask wearing in all campus spaces, including Falvey Memorial Library, is now optional. For individuals who are not fully vaccinated, wearing masks indoors is still strongly recommended.

Electronic collections (articles, e-books and more!) are accessible through our website 24/7.


Kallie Stahl ’17 MA is Communication and Marketing Specialist at Falvey Memorial Library.

 

 


 


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Last Modified: July 1, 2021