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Villanova Theatre’s 2022 Season Debut: Men on Boats

On Sunday, Sept. 25, I attended the 2 p.m. showing of Villanova Theatre’s 2022-2023 season opener Men on Boats in the John and Joan Mullen Center for the Performing Arts. The show ran for approximately 90 minutes and included a post-performance talk-back with the Director, Kristy Dodson; the Production Dramaturg, Hannah Deprey-Severance; and Melinda Daniels, PhD, a research scientist at the Stroud Water Research Center who specializes in fluvial geomorphology, hydrology, and river ecosystem ecology. The talk-back reflected on both the impressive successes and the devastating impacts of Powell’s expedition and revealed insights on the creative process behind the production.

Men on Boats, written by living playwright Jaclyn Backhaus, is a historical satire of the real-life 1869 Grand Canyon Colorado River expedition of John Wesley Powell and his rag-tag crew. Adapting historical records into a script and portraying an excursion that only included cisgender, heterosexual white men, Backhaus created a satire that could succinctly depict an important historical event to audiences across the country while poking fun at the men who set sail in 1869 (and maybe even more modern figures).

As Dramaturg Hannah Deprey-Severance emphasized in the talk-back, Backhaus’s vision was to find a cast of performers that included everyone but cis-het white men. Villanova’s production stayed true to this vision and featured a diverse cast of talented non-male performers who brought the minimalistic yet beautiful set (created by Stefanie Hansen) to life.

Taylor Molt as Bradley (in particular), Reagan Venturi as John Colton Sumner, Genevieve “Eve” Windbiel as Hawkins, and Sara Buscaglia as Hall provided hilarity to the show and all kept me laughing out loud for the 90-minute duration. The brothers, often mistaken for twins (a joke Victorious fans will appreciate) O.G. Howland, played by Noelle Diane Johnson, and Seneca Howland, played by Abigail Little, portrayed a comedic yet compelling sibling relationship on stage. The tense and complicated friendship depicted by Alison Hyde Pascale as John Wesley Powell and Olivia “Liv” Morgan as William Dunn was grounded and gripping. Old Shady, performed by Crys Clemente, served as the crew’s resident slightly odd lone-wolf, who, of course, always had a song for every situation. Finally, Teya Juarez gave a truly endearing portrayal of Frank Goodman (with a seemingly well-practiced British accent).

A truly worthwhile production, the show runs until Sunday, Oct. 2. Tickets are available here.

More information about Men on Boats:

If you want more information on the performers and creative team who made this production possible, check out the online Playbill.

If you want a brief synopsis of Powell’s expedition and other key context for the show, check out the Educational Guide.

If you are interested in learning more about the play’s content information and advisories, check out the content guide for the play.

If you want to learn more about John Wesley Powell, check out Aton’s biography of Powell available online through Falvey (of course).


Annie Stockmal is a graduate student in the Communication Department and graduate assistant in Falvey Memorial Library.

 

 

 

 

 


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Cat in the Stax: A Game of Chess

By Ethan Shea

"World Chess Hall of Fame"

The world’s largest chess piece and the World Chess Hall of Fame in St. Louis, Missouri

Last week I traveled to St. Louis, Missouri to attend the Annual Meeting of the International T.S. Eliot Society. St. Louis is arguably the chess capital of the world, and Eliot, who was born in the city, was an avid chess player himself. In fact, The Waste Land, Eliot’s most famous poem, has a section titled “A Game of Chess.” This timeless piece, which was published 100 years ago, is available for pick up here at Falvey.

"Chess Exhibit"

World Chess Hall of Fame Exhibit

During my visit, I made sure to visit the World Chess Hall of Fame. The museum’s current exhibit focuses on the famous 1972 World Championship match between Bobby Fischer and Boris Spassky. Fischer’s underdog win made him the first ever American World Chess Champion and ended 24 years of uninterrupted Soviet chess dominance.

I believe it’s safe to say that almost everything people know about chess these days was learned from the hit Netflix series The Queen’s Gambit. This isn’t a bad thing, so if you’re interested in the show, check out this “Dig Deeper” blog that provides lots of resources on chess strategy that are available in the Library.

My visit was timely, as an ongoing controversy in the world of chess has been making headlines lately. Reigning World Chess Champion Magnus Carlsen recently resigned from a game against 19-year-old American Hans Niemann in the Julius Baer Generation Cup after playing only one move. This came as a shock, as having the world’s top player quit a legitimate tournament without even trying could be a bad look for the sport.

But the situation is deeper than that. It all started in St. Louis during the Sinquefield Cup. Niemann was entered in the tournament as the lowest seed and somehow managed to win against Carlsen, who even had the advantage by playing with white. The next day, Carlsen unexpectedly resigned from the tournament and posted a strange tweet claiming he can’t talk or he’ll be in “big trouble.”

"Grad Lounge Chess Board"

Graduate Lounge Chess Board

This led fans to assume Carlsen suspected Niemann of cheating. Although Carlsen has not directly said this, fans speculate his resignation against Neimann at Julius Baer essentially confirms Carlsen’s stance. Niemann does have a history of cheating and has even been banned from chess.com, the world’s largest online chess forum, so the accusations are not entirely out of the blue.

The St. Louis Chess Club has said they do not suspect there was any cheating during Carlsen and Niemann’s game, but the resolution to the situation remains a mystery.

I’d certainly describe myself as a fan of chess. I’ve even read a couple books on chess strategy in futile attempts to improve my skills at the game. Although I might not be the best chess player, I love the endless variations and strategies the game offers. They’re always entertaining and often beautiful.

If you’re a graduate student, there’s a lovely chess board in the Graduate Student Lounge on the third floor of Old Falvey. If you’re looking to play, check it out!


Headshot of Ethan SheaEthan Shea is a graduate student in the English Department at Villanova University and Graduate Assistant at Falvey Memorial Library.


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In Memoriam: The Rev. George F. Riley, OSA

The Rev. George F. Riley, OSA, PhD, ’58 CLAS (second row). Image courtesy of the Villanova University Digital Library (Belle Air 1963).


Image courtesy of the Province of Saint Thomas of Villanova.

The Rev. George F. Riley, OSA, PhD, ’58 CLAS, ’61 MA, passed away on Friday, Sept. 16, at the age of 87. A beloved member of the Villanova community for 65 years, Fr. Riley was assigned to Saint Thomas Monastery and Villanova University in 1962. “He taught religious studies and ethics at Villanova; served as the Province’s Vocation Director (where he also served as Secretary and Archivist); was the University’s liaison for the Peace Corps; served as the Special Assistant to the President of Villanova University; and also worked as Vice President for University Relations.” In addition to serving on numerous boards and authoring many publications and sermons, Fr. Riley began the Villanova Magazine in 1984.

Assisting with the University’s first two capital campaigns, Covenant I & II, Fr. Riley helped raise more than $83 million for Villanova. Riley Hall, which houses University Advancement, is named in his honor. The Rev. Peter M. Donohue, OSA, PhD, expressed the community’s admiration for Fr. Riley in his message to Villanova faculty, staff, students, and alumni on Sept. 16:

“Villanova is a better place for Fr. Riley being a part of it. His knowledge has brought wisdom, his humor has brought joy and his dedication has brought inspiration to so many of those around him. His legacy and lasting impact on Villanova are evident in the stories and recollections of the generations of Villanovans, who speak so fondly of Fr. Riley and recall the significant role he played in their lives.”

View Fr. Riley’s full obituary here. A viewing will be held Monday, Sept. 26, at St. Thomas of Villanova Church from 3–7 p.m., followed by the funeral mass at 7 p.m. A livestream link of the viewing and funeral mass will be available on this webpage.

Support the Fr. George F. Riley, OSA Fund for Augustinian HealthCare here.

Fr. Riley’s personal papers were transferred to the University Archives last year. His personal papers are from his time working at Villanova and include his writings, sermons, homilies, speeches, research material, Villanova event materials, and personal photographs. The collection was processed by Jessie Pagan, Theology and Religious Studies doctorial student, and will be publicly available for research soon.


 


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Peek at the Week: September 26

QUOTE OF THE WEEK

In Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Roger Rabbit said, “A laugh can be a very powerful thing. Why, sometimes in life, it’s the only weapon we have.”

For many of us, we’re at the point where the semester is in full swing. Workloads are increasing, and you might be beginning to feel the effects of the semester. With midterms around the corner, it can be easy to get overwhelmed, overworked, and burnt out. (I know I feel like I’m practically army-crawling my way towards Fall Break).

With all of this in mind, try to give yourself a moment to laugh. Whether it’s a funny TikTok, one of your favorite movies, or a moment with your friends, a little laughter in your day can have the power to relieve some weight off your shoulders.


THIS WEEK AT FALVEY

Monday, September 26

Mindfulness Monday | 1-1:30 p.m. | Virtual | Free & Open to Villanova Students, Faculty, and Staff

The Learners’ Studio/Center for Speaking and Presentation | 4-9 p.m. | Room 301 | Free

Tuesday, September 27

The Learners’ Studio/Center for Speaking and Presentation | 4-9 p.m. | Room 301 | Free

Wednesday, September 28

Fall 2022 Falvey Forum Workshop: Present Real-Time Analytics with ARCGIS Dashboards | 12-1 p.m. | Virtual | Free & Open to the Villanova Community | Register Here

The Learners’ Studio/Center for Speaking and Presentation | 4-9 p.m. | Room 301 | Free

2022 One Book Villanova Author’s Visit and Book Signing | 5:30 p.m. | Villanova Room, Connelly Center | Free & Open to the Villanova Community

Dear America: Notes of an Undocumented Citizen by Jose Antonio Vargas is available here.

Friday, September 30

Villanova Gaming Society Meeting | 2:30-4:30 p.m. | Speakers’ Corner | Free & Open to the Public

Sunday, October 2

The Learners’ Studio/Center for Speaking and Presentation | 3-9 p.m. | Room 301 | Free


HOLIDAYS THIS WEEK

Do you ever feel like you’re absolutely confused in class and your professor is making no sense? Well, on Wednesday, Sept. 28, you can be festive and celebrate National Ask a Stupid Question Day by, as the name suggests, asking a stupid question. I promise you that we all ask stupid questions, and sometimes it’s even the smart thing to do.

For all our coffee-drinking readers, this week holds not 1, but 2 coffee-related holidays. Thursday, Sept. 29 is National Starbuck’s Day, and Saturday, Oct. 1 is International Coffee Day. Celebrate by picking up your favorite brew at your favorite shop. (Holy Grounds and Dunkin’ are definitely on my list of stops for the week).

Sept. 30 is International Podcast Day, a perfect excuse to tune out the world and listen to your favorite podcast. Although I’m not a huge podcast fan myself, but I might check out a new true crime podcast or the latest episode of The Leftovers.

Saturday is also International Music Day. Celebrate by listening to your go-to album, by checking out a new artist, or, if you’re musically gifted, playing an instrument you enjoy. (I’ll probably still be riding the wave of the My Chemical Romance reunion, jamming to The Skallywags, and relaxing with Hozier).

 


Annie Stockmal is a graduate student in the Communication Department and graduate assistant in Falvey Memorial Library.


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Photo Friday: Family Weekend

Image of Shawn Proctor, Communication and Marketing Program Manager, with his family.

Photo courtesy of Shawn Proctor.


We have a lot of Villanova families at Falvey Memorial Library! Shawn Proctor, Communication and Marketing Program Manager, is celebrating Family Weekend on campus. His son, Colin, is a senior at Nova (’23 CLAS). Enjoy spending time with your loved ones, Wildcats!

View the Family Weekend 2022 schedule here.


 


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Weekend Recs: Deaf Culture

Happy Friday, Wildcats! Falvey Memorial Library is delivering you another semester of Weekend Recs, a blog dedicated to filling you in on what to read, listen to, and watch over the weekend. Annie, a graduate assistant from the Communication department, scours the internet, peruses the news, and digs through book stacks to find new, relevant, and thought-provoking content that will challenge you and prepare you for the upcoming week.

Did you know that Deaf people have their own culture? Although often labeled as a disability by hearing society at large, Deaf people are fighting back against this notion. Instead, they contend that their supposed “disability” is actually the foundation of a rich culture here in the U.S. and elsewhere. In celebration of International Week of Deaf People, this weekend’s recs will highlight some key aspects of Deaf culture.

If you have 1 minute…and are unsure about the correct terminology, watch this TikTok. It explains why “Deaf” is the preferred label, and why “hearing impaired” can be viewed as offensive or outdated.

If you have 3 minutes…and want to check out some music made by a Deaf artist, listen to “Hanaa!,” or any song by Signmark. He is a Deaf rapper from Finland who often signs while he raps.

If you have 5 minutes…and are wondering how Deaf culture differs from hearing culture, read this article that explains some of the differences.

If you have 7 minutes…and were wondering why the “D” in Deaf is often capitalized, read this article about how people identify themselves as a part of the Deaf community. Spoiler: deaf and Deaf do not mean the same thing, and not all deaf people identify as Deaf.

If you have 10 minutes…and have some questions about deafness and Deaf culture, browse this Deaf culture FAQ page. It might save you from a potentially awkward or embarrassing interaction or from bothering a deaf person with frequently asked questions.

If you have 15 minutes…and want to learn more about the fight for a Deaf president at the only Deaf-centric university in the world, watch this TED Talk with Irisa MacAulay. Warning: although Irisa, the presenter, gives an absolutely amazing talk, the camera often switches angles, making it difficult to understand her ASL without using subtitles or listening to the interpreter.

If you have 1 hour and 35 minutes…and like (corny) old horror movies, watch Deafula. The film features ASL as the primary language with an English dub for hearing people and is available through inter-library loan.

If you have 1 hour and 51 minutes…and want to watch a more recent movie that showcases Deaf culture, watch CODA. This award-winning film specifically focuses on the story of a CODA (Child of a Deaf Adult) who discovers her passion for music.

If you have 12 or more hours…and want a deep-dive into Deaf history, read Gannon’s Deaf Heritage: A Narrative History of Deaf America. The book moves through Deaf history in America by decade and even features an entire chapter dedicated to Deaf humor.


Annie Stockmal is a graduate student in the Communication Department and graduate assistant in Falvey Memorial Library.


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Freedom To Read: Celebrate Banned Book Week with These “Most Challenged” Books From Falvey Memorial Library

American Library Association's poster announcing Banned Books Week 2020.


Banned Books Week commenced on Sept. 18! Beginning in the early 1980s, the annual event, celebrated the last week of September, spotlights “current and historical attempts to censor books in libraries and schools.” Show your support for “the freedom to read” and checkout these frequently challenged titles available at Falvey Memorial Library.

The titles listed below are featured in the “Top 10 Most Challenged Books” lists spanning from 2001-2021. “Lists are based on information from media stories and voluntary reports sent to the Office for Intellectual Freedom from communities across the U.S.

Books are accessible through Falvey’s collection and Interlibrary Loan.

For more information about Banned Books Week visit the American Library Association’s website. Looking for a specific title not available at Falvey Memorial Library? Villanova students, staff, and faculty can use the E-ZBorrow service to request print materials from regional libraries. Chat with a librarian during business hours: Monday–Friday, 9 a.m.–5 p.m. for inquires regarding Falvey Library’s collection.


Kallie Stahl ’17 MA is Communication and Marketing Specialist at Falvey Memorial Library. *Article originally published on Sept. 28, 2020.

 

 


 


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Cat in the Stax: A Summer to Remember

By Ethan Shea

Heat

Tomorrow, on September 22, summer will officially be over. This may be hard to stomach, but don’t fret. There’s plenty to look forward to in the fall!

If we’re being honest, summer really ends when the school year begins, but I understand the world does not revolve around our academic calendar. If you’re a meteorologist, summer ends when August does. Tomorrow’s autumnal equinox only signifies the end of Astronomical summer.

During the autumnal equinox, which signifies the beginning of fall, the sun is directly above the equator. This means the amount of daylight the Northern and Southern hemispheres receive is nearly equal. Because our Gregorian calendar is not precisely in tune with the Earth’s revolution around the sun, hence our use of leap years, the dates of equinoxes vary within a few days.

Essentially, the vernal (spring) and autumnal equinoxes are opposites of the summer and winter equinoxes. During summer and winter equinoxes the Earth’s tilt, either toward or away from the sun, is at its peak. During vernal and autumnal equinoxes, the Earth has essentially no tilt relative to the sun’s rays.

"Heat Maps Summer 2022"

Data: NOAA; Chart: Erin Davis/Axios Visuals

Personally, I’m happy to welcome autumn and the cooler weather it brings. The hot summers are tough for this born and bred New Englander. But I wasn’t the only one feeling the heat this year, as the summer of 2022 was one of the hottest ever recorded. In fact, this summer tied summer 2020 as the hottest summer globally on record. Read this Washington Post article at Falvey Library’s website to find more stats about how this summer’s heat stacks up against previous years.

 

In addition to more temperate weather, we have fall’s vibrant foliage to look forward to. Check out  this TBT post which includes a picturesque autumn photo from the 1965 edition of Belle Air.

Let us know in the comments what your favorite season is! Are you someone who likes it hot, or are you eagerly waiting for a cool autumn breeze?


Headshot of Ethan SheaEthan Shea is a graduate student in the English Department and Graduate Assistant at Falvey Memorial Library.


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Welcome to Falvey: Iliana Chaleva Joins Resource Management & Description

Iliana Chaleva

Lia Chaleva, Acquisitions & Licensing Librarian. Photo by Kallie Stahl, Communication & Marketing Specialist.


Iliana “Lia” Chaleva recently joined Resource Management and Description as Acquisitions & Licensing Librarian. Resource Management & Description “builds and cultivates collections through acquisitions, licensing, description, discovery, and access to resources for Villanova scholars and community.”

Before joining the Falvey Library staff, Chaleva was the e-Resource Librarian at West Chester University. She also worked as an e-Resource Librarian at Bryn Mawr College for nearly 15 years. After coming across the job posting for Falvey Library, Chaleva knew she wanted to explore the opportunity at Villanova University. “I live on the Main Line and I’ve always had an affinity for Villanova’s campus. Especially these last few years, driving past and seeing all the progress that has been made. Its such an inviting place.”

Originally from Bulgaria, Chaleva earned her Master’s in Library & Information Science (LIS) from Rutgers University. She received a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and International Relations from the American University in Bulgaria. Her interest in LIS began when she worked at the European Union (EU) Information Center in Bulgaria after graduating from the American University in Bulgaria. “The space had a small library with documents about the EU, work stations, free brochures. I worked at the public information desk answering questions: It felt like I was working in a mini library. I became interested in learning how to effectively organize information. Rutgers University was a perfect fit for me. I was able to conduct research and work on a variety of library information projects while completing my degree.”

Chaleva compliments her colleagues when discussing her role as Acquisitions & Licensing Librarian. “I work with a wonderful team. We are always working to get access for all users. I am responsible for reviewing current contracts with publishers and ensuring those terms and conditions are favorable for the Villanova community. My role entails a lot of technical information, but ultimately those technicalities can benefit Falvey Library patrons. Acquiring new resources is a collaborative process. Everyone has input, and we all work together to ensure we are obtaining the best information from vendors.”

In her free time, Chaleva enjoys spending time with her family and watching her children’s sporting events. “My family and I like to be outside. We like to kayak, hike, and fish. (‘We catch the fish, but always put them back!)'” She enjoys reading and watching historical movies. Her reading recommendations for Falvey patrons: Antarctica by David Day, Pennsylvania Good Eats by Brian Yarvin, and True Crime Philadelphia by Kathryn Caravan.

Chaleva’s office is located on the second floor of Falvey Library, room 232. Email iliana.chaleva@villanova.edu; 610-519-4731.


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

 

 


 


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1842 Day: Support Falvey Library

1842 Day has arrived, and Villanova welcomes alumni, students, faculty, staff, as well as friends, family, and supporters to join the fun by supporting Falvey Library!

The Library will be celebrating on our social channels and in-person on the first floor of Falvey, so stop by! You might even win a prize!

Located at the heart of main campus, Falvey Memorial Library is the interdisciplinary academic center of the Villanova University community. Students, faculty, and staff visit Falvey over half a million times each year. Whether to discuss research with a librarian, attend a book talk with an accomplished author, or find a quiet place to write or study, a visit to the Library is an essential part of a student’s life at Villanova.

Gifts to the Library on 1842 Day over the past six years have helped enhance and impact many areas of the Library, including e-journals, databases, books, and treasured items in Distinctive Collections, benefiting students and faculty for generations to come. Past donations were used to purchase public health materials and preservation supplies for rare materials, including a specialized vacuum to safely clean books in Special Collections and archival boxes to rehouse thousands of at-risk, rare materials.

In 2021, Falvey continued to expand diversity, equity, and inclusion materials within the collection, including adding a Jewish newspaper collection, The Jewish Exponent (1887-1990.)

“This effort utilized 1842 Day funding in an impactful way,” says Millicent Gaskell, University Librarian. “The Library represents a link from alumni’s shared past to current students. Where the University’s memories and history is preserved. And a hub of academics and research support for students to excel, both in their undergraduate careers and beyond.”

Make your gift on 1842 Day, or beat the rush and donate early!

 


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Last Modified: September 19, 2022