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Falvey Works with Campus Partners to Benefit Future Students

Staff members Samuel Jay and Olivia D'Aiutolo Mendenall sort textbooks for their respective students.


By Shawn Proctor

Falvey Library staff collaborated with partners across campus to boost sustainability efforts while benefiting students in the Center for Access, Success and Achievement (CASA) as well as  College of Professional Studies (CPS).

On May 30, Albert Motel, Waste and Recycling Manager, Facilities Management, coordinated a delivery of 461 pounds of books donated by current students during the spring move out. The books, which included theology and philosophy textbooks, novels, plays, poetry collections, and memoirs from every college at the University, were sorted in the Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship Idea Lab (IIE) by Samuel Jay, Assistant Director of Retention, CASA, Kirstin DeFusco Houtz, MS, Director, Academic Advising and Student Support, CPS, and Olivia D’Aiutolo Mendenall, MEd, Academic Advisor, CPS.

“The donation was an absolute success! Working alongside Shawn, Kirstin, and Olivia was a great experience, and it was all for the students’ benefit,” Jay says. “It gives our students the opportunity to borrow textbooks free of charge, in comparison to purchasing them from the bookstore where textbooks can be well over $100. A lot of students do not come from wealthy backgrounds, so this initiative provides our students the chance to borrow textbooks, while getting to save some money.”


Caring for Students and the Environment
The hundreds of texts selected by CASA were catalogued by Falvey staff in Resource Management and Description (RMD) and added to the CASA lending library, where they will be available to the center’s students, who are underrepresented, first-generation, or Pell Grant Eligible.

Kirstin DeFusco Houtz and Olivia D'Aiutolo Mendenall review books donated by Villanova students.

Kirstin DeFusco Houtz and Olivia D’Aiutolo Mendenall review books donated by Villanova students.

A wide variety of books were delivered to the CPS as well, which doubled the size of its recently created lending library. These books will help reduce the cost of attendance for CPS students, who are high achieving adults balancing their educational and professional aspirations with life commitments.

The remaining materials were collected by RMD and packaged to be shipped to a company that specializes in reselling textbooks.

“Our students in CPS have numerous financial obligations they must consider when deciding to pursue an academic credential. Often, this is money being moved from another area in their family budget – children’s education, retirement, groceries, etc. Providing affordable materials for our nontraditional students is crucial for promoting accessibility, inclusivity, and overall student success,” DeFusco Houtz says.

This multi-department initiative supports Villanova University’s commitment to sustainability and good stewardship of our planet by removing these books from the waste stream. It also lives out the University values of truth, unity, and love and the important missions of promoting diversity and equity in the campus community.

“The financial burden of expensive textbooks or materials can be discouraging and lead to attrition,” D’Aiutolo Mendenall adds. “Providing course materials will help to create a more equitable educational landscape at Villanova, empowering individuals to achieve their goals and will have many intergenerational benefits.”


Special thanks to the many other staff who contributed to this initiative: Falvey Library’s John Banionis, Director of Resource Management and Description, and David Burke, Metadata Librarian, who processed the donated materials; CASA’s Renee Boyd-Shaw, Administrative and Lending Library Coordinator, and Kevin Covington, Assistant Director, Retention and Outreach, for support and administration; and IIE’s Stephen Green, Assistant Director, and Ann Miller, Daniel J. Hogarty, Jr. ’61 Director, for graciously providing the space.


Shawn Proctor

Shawn Proctor, MFA, is Communication and Marketing Program Manager at Falvey Library.



Photo Friday: Villanova Students Donate More Than 500 Pounds of Books

Renee Boyd-Shaw and three students from the Center for Access, Success, and Achievement (CASA) sort through recycled books for CASA's Lending Library.

Renee Boyd-Shaw and three students from the Center for Access, Success, and Achievement (CASA) sort through recycled books for CASA’s Lending Library. Photo courtesy of Shawn Proctor, Communication and Marketing Program Manager.

During the spring semester move-out in May, recycling bins were provided by the Villanova Recycling Office with plans for “collecting, sorting, and donating to local charities all usable items left behind by the students.”

In all, Villanova students donated over 500 pounds of books that were then delivered to Falvey Memorial Library on June 14.

Renee Boyd-Shaw and three students from the Center for Access, Success, and Achievement (CASA)—pictured above—sorted through the donations for CASA’s Lending Library. The small library of books and textbooks are accessible for CASA students to checkout for the semester.

According to the department’s website, “The Lending Library has proven to be a valuable resource to help defray the costs of instructional materials that students may need for class.” More than 80 percent of the recycled books were added to CASA’s Lending Library. The other 20 percent were added to Falvey Library’s collection or donated to Better World Books for resale.

Thank you to all the students who recycled their books for future Villanovans!

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





Photo Friday: “Eye-Dentity” on Display

Anna Jankowski showcases her "Eye-Dentity" painting.

Anna Jankowski, 23′ CLAS, showcases her “Eye-Dentity” painting.

On Friday, Sept. 30, Villanova students attended an Art and Identity Painting Event in honor of the University’s Inclusion Week. Sponsored by the Center for Access, Success, and Achievement (CASA), Jeanne Brody, PhD, Art History Professor, discussed the role of public art, identity, and representation while students created art reflecting their identity, culture, and experience at Villanova.

Anna Jankowski ’23 CLAS, a junior communication major and Falvey Library Student Employee, says, “I loved attending this event for Inclusion Week to learn more about how art can be both functional and meaningful! I titled my piece ‘Eye-Dentity’ because I used complex colors and symbols inside my eye which represented a part of me. I included some aspects that were very obviously tied to my identity, like my astrological birth sign. Other symbols, like a flower, were more abstract and represent the growth I’ve gone through to bloom as my current self. I included a nature collage around my eye to represent the beautifully complicated world we live in and how I, and the things I love, fit into that world.”

Stop by Falvey Library’s first floor to see Jankowski’s painting and art crafted by students who attended the event!

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




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Identity Painting Workshop During Villanova’s Inaugural Inclusion Week

A student painting from the Identity painting workshop

By Anna Jankowski

This year marked the inaugural Inclusion Week at Villanova University. The series, which ran from Sept. 27-Oct. 1, was sponsored by the Student Government Association (SGA) and the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (ODEI) in partnership with many groups on campus. In honor of the series, the Center for Access, Success and Achievement (CASA)  and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS) invited students to an “Art and Identity” painting event on Thursday, Sept. 30 in the Idea Lab (ground floor of Falvey Memorial Library). This painting event was one of the final events of the week, which celebrated the various intersecting identities on campus.

Students learned about how identity closely impacts art and how we may not be conscious of the ways that art is all around us. Public art on campus includes The Awakening, also known as the “Oreo,” as well as St. Augustine’s Students in front of the St. Augustine Center. Students learned and discussed the differences between these two art pieces on campus in terms of interaction with the pieces and their significance to our community.

During this Courageous Conversation workshop, students were able to create their own art projects linked to their unique identities. First, students took a close-up selfie of one eye, and then they sat down to sketch their own eye on a canvas. Next, students picked various symbols or drawings to represent their experiences and identities. Some students chose the Spotify logo, and some chose flags of countries from which they originate. Some students represented their major through a beaker full of chemicals.

Each student interpreted the project in a different way! No two eyes looked alike.

This was a great way to cap off Villanova’s Inclusion Week and to celebrate the various individual intersecting identities at Villanova.

You can see these art pieces displayed on the first floor of the library from October to November. Take a closer look to see if your own identity resonates with any of the pieces displayed!


Anna Jankowski headshot

Anna Jankowski CLAS ’23 is a Junior Communication Major from the Baltimore area who ​​works as a Communication & Marketing Assistant in Falvey Memorial Library.






Last Modified: October 20, 2021

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