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Honors Program Senior Theses – Now Online!

By Rebecca Oviedo

Each year theses submitted by Villanova’s undergraduate Honors Program graduating class are added to the Villanova Digital Collection in Falvey’s Digital Library. This research becomes part of the permanent records of the University, kept by Villanova University Archives.

These capstone theses represent the culmination of Villanova students’ academic experience and are valuable records of the community’s scholarly output. They also capture the intellectual trends and contemporary issues that were important to students at a particular point in time.

The theses of this year’s senior class of 2020 are no different. The most current pressing issue of systemic racism is discussed across topics centered on education, voting rights, and access to birth control. Vaccines (and the anti-vaccination movement) are studied through the academic lenses of students from the Department of Biology, the Department of Theology and Religious Studies, and the M. Louise Fitzpatrick College of Nursing. There are submissions in creative writing, and extensive reports on research conducted in campus labs. Several essays touch upon ethics in medicine and public health, and more than one address gender bias and depictions in sports and the media. One Wildcat hypothesized on “Quantifying Jay Wright’s Greatness.”

At the conclusion of this most unusual academic year, each and every Wildcat can be proud of their academic achievements.

 


Rebecca Oviedo is Distinctive Collections Librarian/Archivist at Falvey Memorial Library.

 

 


 


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Recognize the Work of Villanova Seniors: Falvey Scholar Award Nominations Are Still Being Accepted

The 2019 Falvey Scholar Award Winners.

There’s still time to nominate Villanova seniors for Falvey Scholar Awards! Awards are given each spring to individual or group projects of seniors who have completed exemplary scholarship.

Although all University events are canceled for the remainder of the spring semester, the committee will highlight the 2020 award winners in an alternative format. The deadline for faculty nominations has been extended until Friday, April 3.

Please contact libraryevents@villanova.edu for additional information. Faculty can nominate seniors here. Once nominated, students will be asked to apply in order to be considered for the award using a link on the same page.

View past winner entries in the Villanova University Digital Library.


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

 

 


 


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New Nursing Resource: Ovid Emcare

By Sarah Hughes

Falvey Memorial Library recently added Ovid Emcare to its database collection. Emcare is scholarly nursing and allied health database that largely encompasses evidence-based care clinical content.

It contains abstracts and indexing from a large variety of peer-reviewed journals and is fully integrated with Falvey’s Ovid full-text journal collection, allowing users to go beyond citation gathering to gain full-text PDFs when available.

Access to Ovid Emcare can be found in Databases A to Z or on the Falvey Library Nursing Guide.

One of the more unique features about Emcare is that it provides international journal coverage not found in other nursing and healthcare-related databases.

Other notable features include:

  • Access to over 3,700 international indexed peer-reviewed journals
  • Over 5 million records dating back to 1995
  • Ability to limit search results to systematic reviews, clinical trials, and more
  • Natural language searching making it easier for search queries

Whether you are a seasoned nursing researcher, or an undergraduate nursing student, Ovid Emcare can help you dig deeper in your research to find the best evidence-based literature on a variety of nursing topics.

 


Sarah Hughes is Nursing & Life Sciences Librarian at Falvey Memorial Library.

 

 

 


 


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Where Research Starts: Oxford Bibliographies

By Jutta Seibert

Looking for expert guidance to help you locate the scholarly literature on an unfamiliar topic? Dreading the time consuming process of identifying and then sifting through mountains of research? Oxford Bibliographies could be the answer you’re seeking.

With Oxford Bibliographies, Oxford University Press has redefined the staid, old print bibliography concept and taken a fresh look at the research needs of today’s scholars. While bibliographies traditionally aimed for comprehensive coverage, Oxford Bibliographies was conceived as a selective bibliography meant to steer the reader towards the most critical publications on a topic.

Its success proves that these bibliographies fill an unmet need. They are selective and are regularly reviewed and updated. Through open link resolver technology, scholars can search their local library catalog for recommended readings or request them from other libraries in a few simple steps.

Villanova has acquired most of the available subject collections; they may be accessed via the link under “O” on the Databases A-Z listing. Individual articles in each subject collection vary in how they are organized, but they are all authored by recognized academic authorities. The works of many faculty authors are listed in various bibliographies reflecting on the growing influence of scholarship coming out of the Villanova community.

Ready to take a closer look? Start by browsing one of the 22 subject collections open to the Villanova community, including Atlantic History, Islamic Studies, and Medieval Studies, or search for a topic near and dear to your heart, or take a look at the most popular bibliography in the collection, Racist Jokes by Claire Horisk from the Philosophy collection. The Oxford Bibliography platform includes a guided tour and other tools that introduce interested scholars to a range of helpful features.

What else could one possibly ask for? I, for one, wish there were one for every topic.


Jutta Seibert is Director of Research Services & Scholarly Engagement at Falvey Memorial Library.

 

 



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Celebrate the Launch of Villanova’s First Peer-Reviewed Undergraduate Research Journal

Read the current issue here!


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

 


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Welcome To Falvey: Erica Hayes Joins Research Services and Scholarly Engagement

Erica Hayes recently joined Research Services and Scholarly Engagement (RSSE) as Digital Scholarship Librarian. RSSE works to support research, teaching, and learning at Villanova University; enabling the discovery of, access to, and stewardship of a vast array of scholarly resources.

Hayes earned a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature from Chapman University in Orange, CA; a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing, specializing in poetics from California State University, Long Beach; and a Master of Library Science and Master of Information Science from Indiana University, Bloomington.

She is passionate about scholarship and was an Adjunct Professor teaching English Literature and Composition courses when a colleague’s spouse, who was a Digital Humanities Librarian, introduced her to the world of digital scholarship. Encompassing a variety of subjects, digital scholarship lies at the intersection between technology and research. She is excited to collaborate with Villanova faculty and students to help bring their research to life.

“Integrating digital tools into research methods can extend traditional methods of scholarship, sharing knowledge and pedagogy beyond the page,” she says.

While at IU Bloomington, Hayes worked on several projects including the Petrarchive Project, an open access “rich-text” digital edition of Francesco Petrarca’s songbook Rerum Vulgarium Fragmenta. “The project proposes a new digital way of visualizing, studying, and investigating Petrarch’s work by offering a more ‘authentic’ text as well as multiple indices and tools to access the diverse strata of the work’s composition and cultural contextualization.”

Exhibit: Bird by Bird
She also worked at the Lilly Library, IU Bloomington’s Rare Books and Special Collections Library, as the Web Development Assistant, managing digital collections, Omeka online exhibits, and their website. Collaborating with faculty, Hayes assisted in developing touchscreen exhibits for the library’s special collection exhibits: One of which accompanied the permanent exhibition of John James Audubon’s double elephant folio, Birds of America. “The touchscreen exhibit featured 50 plates of North American bird species from the collection and was created to make the volumes more accessible to library visitors. The touchscreen helped make the collection more interactive while offering an opportunity for patrons to learn more about Audubon and his life,” she explains.

Before starting at Falvey Memorial Library, Hayes completed a two-year fellowship at the NC State University Libraries working in the Copyright and Digital Scholarship Center and the User Experience Department. She led a variety of Digital Scholarship workshops including storytelling with GIS, georeferencing historical maps, and text and data mining.

As the Project Manager on the Immersive Scholar Andrew W. Mellon Foundation grant at the NC State University Libraries, Hayes also worked with a group of scholars to create large-scale visualizations and extensible models for the James B. Hunt Jr. Library’s visualization walls. She says, “managing the grant’s workflows, I worked closely with creative residents we hosted at the NC State University Libraries on developing open source visualization projects to be shared across institutions.”

Mapping African Coinage
In her free time, Hayes enjoys traveling, experiencing new cultures, and is looking forward to exploring Philadelphia. Currently, she is also collaborating with her friend, Dr. Kacie Wills, on a digital humanities project, entitled “Exploring the Collections of Sarah Sophia Banks,” which was recently awarded a research grant from the Keats-Shelley Association of America. Sarah Sophia Banks was the sister to Joseph Banks, President of the Royal Society and famed botanist on the Cook Voyages. “While her life has often been overshadowed by her brother, Sarah Sophia was an avid collector of coins, medals, and tokens from around the world. It was most unusual for a woman to study numismatics during the eighteenth century and some of her coins are incredibly rare.  For our project, we are mapping the African coins detailed in her coin catalogues that are housed at the British Museum and the Royal Mint,” she says. “Our GIS map features coins from her catalogues, which connects the coin’s location of authority to their places of issue in order to display these unique coins, tokens, and medals while showing how money was being distributed during the growing British Empire.”

As she works to build a digital scholarship program at Villanova, Hayes invites the campus community to reach out and set up an appointment with her: “I can help students incorporate digital tools into their scholarship and assist faculty with developing digital pedagogy assignments in the classroom.”

Hayes’ office is in the Learning Commons of Falvey Memorial Library, room 229. Email: erica.hayes@villanova.edu.


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


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Feels Like Fall Already: Falvey Welcomes New Faculty at Orientation 

Falvey’s librarians, including Erica Hayes, the Digital Scholarship Librarian, welcomed new faculty to Villanova Thursday, Aug. 21.

Falvey’s librarians, including Erica Hayes, the Digital Scholarship Librarian, welcomed new faculty to Villanova Thursday, Aug. 21.

Each year, before the fall semester begins, the Villanova Institute for Teaching and Learning (VITAL) sponsors a new faculty orientation program that supports faculty new to Villanova University. Partnering with VITAL, Falvey Memorial Library co-sponsored a continental breakfast on Wednesday, Aug. 21, in Falvey’s Speakers’ Corner.

Library Director Millicent Gaskell welcomed new faculty, highlighted library services, and discussed library initiatives, including the Affordable Materials Project (AMP) and the Scholarship Open Access Reserve (SOAR) Fund. The assemblage provided new faculty members the opportunity to gather according to discipline for informal discussions with liaison librarians.


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What’s Missing From This Picture? Suggest a Title for the Library’s Collection

bookcart with books

This is not just any cart filled with books. These are the newest print titles that the Library has added to its collection of over a million print and electronic books.

Each was selected due to its ability to support the teaching, learning, and research needs of the entire Villanova University community, including undergraduate and graduate students, faculty, and staff. It is part of the Library’s effort to advance knowledge on campus, promote information discovery and access, encourage intellectual curiosity, and empower users by providing timely and critical information resources.

The Library understands the impact of evolving information technologies, changing scholarly communication practices, new forms of information seeking behaviors, and learning styles in a networked world.

The library also acknowledges the interdisciplinary nature of academic resources and firmly believe in free and open access to knowledge, freedom of expression, diversity, interculturality, and inclusion in all its collections. As such, it promotes open access educational resources, zero-cost classroom texts, and DRM free e-resources whenever possible when making collection building decisions.

Learn more about the Library’s process of developing its collection here: https://library.villanova.edu/collections/development/collection-development-statements

But we also rely on faculty and students to help guide the selection process.

If you discover a resource that should be added to the collection, the Library staff welcomes you to visit the website and suggest the purchase of a title. It may be just the thing students will need for their next groundbreaking research project!

 


 

headshot of Shawn ProctorShawn Proctor, MFA, is Communications and Marketing Program Manager at Falvey Memorial Library. He most recently read Dar Williams’ book What I Found in a Thousand Towns.


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Welcome to Falvey: Sarah Hughes Joins Research Services and Scholarly Engagement


Sarah Hughes recently joined Research Services and Scholarly Engagement as the Nursing and Life Sciences Librarian. Research Services and Scholarly Engagement works to support research, teaching, and learning at Villanova University; enabling the discovery of, access to, and stewardship of a vast array of scholarly resources.

A native of New Jersey, Hughes has a passion for research, earning a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology from Rutgers University and a Master of Science in Library and Information Science from the Pratt Institute. She is currently pursuing a Master of Arts in Professional Communication from William Paterson University.

“I enjoyed spending time in the library as an undergrad and eventually discovered that I wanted to pursue a career that was both research oriented, but also personal, where I helped people,” she says.

Her interest in the field began when she enrolled in a medical librarianship course taught onsite at Weil Cornell Medicine in Manhattan. “I was in the same building that was being used by the doctors, residents, and nurses. It was exciting. I liked the idea that the research I was assisting the community in could be used for making advances in medicine,” Hughes says.

Furthering her knowledge of the profession, Hughes worked several internships in various hospitals and institutions, including the New York Academy of Medicine, the Manhattan VA Medical Center, and the University Medical Center of Princeton at Plainsboro. The experience she gained helped make for a smooth transition from medical librarian to academic librarian.

Hughes is familiar with academic libraries due to her work with nursing students at Dominican College and teaching library instruction courses to undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral students at William Paterson University before transitioning to Falvey Memorial Library. Hughes knew Falvey Library was right for her when she saw that the scholarly librarian position focused exclusively on nursing and life sciences. “I have a deep respect for nurses. Working in the emergency department at Princeton, I was amazed by all of the tasks the nurses dealt with during their shifts.”

Hughes says she is excited to meet the students and faculty in the fall and encourages the Villanova community to reach out and set up an appointment. “I can assist nursing students with finding and using databases, utilizing citation management tools, and pointing them towards great evidence-based practice resources.” Faculty in the Fitzpatrick College of Nursing can also contact Hughes about research consultations. “Research is a big undertaking and takes a great amount of time—months, sometimes years. We’re exploring what tools the library can offer to help scholars in the sciences and other disciplines. Given that Villanova is R2: doctoral university, the stakes and the expectations are higher, and we need to support them.”

In her free time, Hughes enjoys going to see live music, watching foreign and documentary films, exploring new restaurants, traveling, and spending time outdoors kayaking. An avid tennis fan, she likes watching her favorite players Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.

“My door is always open to students and faculty. The Fitzpatrick College of Nursing is very prestigious, so I’m thrilled to have a great group of students with which to work. There’s so many different avenues they can take once they finish their degree. I’m excited to help prepare students for their time at Villanova and beyond.”

Hughes’ office is located in the Learning Commons on the second floor of Falvey Memorial Library. Room 220. 610-519-8129. Email: sarah.hughes@villanova.edu. She will also be at Driscoll Hall from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Thursdays this fall.


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


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The Art of the Cell: Meet Ritesh Karsalia, 2019 Falvey Scholar

Ritesh Karsalia, 2019 Falvey Scholar

Ritesh Karsalia receives the Falvey Scholar Award from Jeehyun “Jee” Davis, Associate University Librarian for Collections and Stewardship.

BY SHAWN PROCTOR

This is part 6 of a 6-part series featuring the 2019 Falvey Scholars. Read more about them every Tuesday and in the upcoming issue of Mosaic: the library’s bi-annual publication.

Scholarly Stats:

Ritesh Karsalia ’19 CLAS (Biology major; Latin American Studies, Spanish Language & Literature minors)

Hometown: Colonia, New Jersey

Faculty Mentor: Anil Bamezai, PhD, Professor, Director Graduate Program

Research: “Investigating the role of ordered (Io) and disordered (Id) phases within the plasma membrane of primary CD4+ helper T lymphocytes in their antigen-specific responses”

 

In his own words:

Ritesh’s Research:

My research process is founded on the scientific method, which has allowed me to conduct empirical experiments to test various immunological hypotheses. The subset of my laboratory group that I’ve focused on has been the spatiotemporal regulation of CD4+ helper T cells in response to foreign antigens.

While my principal investigator has been conducting research in this field for much of his professional career, not much information is known about the dynamic orchestration of cellular membrane-proximal signaling events and how they specifically affect the immune cell’s ability to respond. Therefore, I first began compiling the current scientific literature related to lipid-raft signaling and membrane-proximal CD4+ T cell signaling in order to locate the gaps in the current knowledge base.

My research project ultimately builds upon a series of previous studies that investigates how the order of cellular membranes, regulated by lipids, proteins, and cholesterol situated within regions called lipid-rafts, affects the ability of CD4+ T cells to respond appropriately. There are a few studies that have previously discovered that the order of CD4+ T cell membranes can be disrupted with a cholesterol-derivative, 7-ketocholesterol, leading to a decreased CD4+ response in the presence of a foreign antigen.


“CD4+ T cells are the major regulators of our immune system, and with so much disease history and technological developments in our modern world, I did not think that there were still so many question marks related to CD4+ T cell responses.” –Ritesh Karsalia, 2019 Falvey Scholar


Analyzing these studies allowed me to understand that increased membrane disorder leads to decreased CD4+ T cell response, if the disorder is induced relatively early (within 24 hours of antigen presentation). I then asked the broader questions of 1) whether this process is reversible and 2) how this process mechanistically occurs. Previous investigations had been unable to determine these aspects of this phenomenon, and the answers to these questions would allow scientists to better modulate CD4+ T cell responses though membrane order/disorder.

After asking these questions, I again went through the published scientific literature and looked at previous studies conducted by previous members in my laboratory to look for different biological mechanisms that could be affecting this process. I learned what mechanisms had already been unsuccessfully shown to affect this process and looked at some of the other promising events governing T-cell activation as areas of inquiry.

By reading previous literature that explained how 7-ketocholesterol specifically disrupts the order of lipid-rafts, I was able to hypothesize a potential way to Ritesh Karsalia next to fountainreconstitute the disordered membrane and assess CD4+ T cell response, afterwards.

I started physically performing cell-culture experiments to test my hypotheses. I worked with DO11 BALB/c transgenic mice that were bred in the vivarium in the Mendel Science Center. Since I was primarily focused on analyzing the cellular responses of CD4+ T cells, I harvested the lymph nodes from these cells and appropriately treated these cells to test my hypotheses.

These treatment groups included solutions containing 7-ketocholesterol (to induce disorder) and cholesterol (to reconstitute order). Multiple concentration ranges were used for each treatment group to understand relevant dosage-effects. To gain a better understanding of the biological mechanism(s) affecting membrane-order-based responses, western blots were used to analyze ubiquitination patterns after the T-cells were appropriately treated with 7-ketocholesterol and/or cholesterol and stimulated with a monoclonal antibody.

The expression of CD69, an early activation marker of cell activation that is implicated with CD4+ T cell proliferation, was also analyzed using flow cytometry to understand if the processes governing the expression of this protein were affected by increased membrane disorder. For all the experiments I performed, MTT assays, which measure the metabolic activity of cells, were used to quantify how much proliferation and activation occurred in each treatment group.

 

Ritesh’s “Falvey Experience”:

The Falvey Memorial Library staff and the resources were crucial to the success of my research project. I am extremely grateful for the subscriptions that the Falvey Library provided to a diverse array of online scientific journals.

As my research project was founded upon related previous studies, and a lot of my work focused on filling in the gaps between these works, I was only able to access the hundreds of publications that I have read along the course of my project due to the library’s subscriptions.

These resources were also valuable when I was performing my experimental procedures. For example, I needed to isolate macrophages (which present the foreign antigens to the CD4+ cells) as part of my procedure when setting up my cell cultures to test for the effect of the different treatment groups. My laboratory did not have the kit that would allow me to isolate these macrophages from the lymph nodes of our mice, and the cost of the kit (over $1000) exceeded my budget. Thanks to the subscriptions that Falvey Library provided, I was able to find an alternate procedure which involved harvesting the macrophages from the bone marrow of the mice. This procedure was one which was unfamiliar to my laboratory group, but using the resources that the library provided, I was able to successfully implement the procedure into my experiment.

Additionally, I attended numerous presentations by Robin Bowles, then Falvey’s Nursing and Biology Librarian, when I was participating in the Villanova Undergraduate Research Fellowship for my research project. Robin helped me tremendously when it came to performing targeted searches for publications relevant to my project.Ritesh at the lectern

Unfortunately, there isn’t a lot of information known about the spatiotemporal regulation of the cell membrane in the context of CD4+ T cell responses. Early in the summer, I visited Robin in the library – thanks to her help, I was able to gain access to a relatively recent international publication about CD69’s implication in tumor immunity. Through the interlibrary loan system and the help of Robin, I was able to access this publication. This was a very helpful document in persuading me to investigate CD69 expression as a part of my research project. Robin’s presentations also introduced me to Zotero and proper reference management. I have not had much exposure to writing scientific literature before this project, so the resources that the library provided to introduce me to documentation management, in-text citations, and creating an appropriate works cited section were invaluable.

 

 

The Impact on Him:

This project taught me the importance of using past research and inquiry as a guide to understanding the current state of our knowledge base and as a building block to expand upon. After completing my research project, I’ve really come to understand how the work that we, as critical thinkers and investigators, perform is really part of a larger academic collective.

When asking new questions and expanding upon the questions that our colleagues have previously asked, we’re ultimately creating a more comprehensive knowledge base for the future. It was extremely humbling to realize how the work that I performed is directly connected to the work that other international investigators have performed for tens of years.

This experience has influenced my academic goals because it has also taught me how much more information is still out there to be uncovered, and how crucial investigation is towards the advancement of science.

As an aspiring healthcare professional, I was shocked to learn that so many of the processes related to CD4+ T cell signaling are still unknown. CD4+ T cells are the major regulators of our immune system, and with so much disease history and technological developments in our modern world, I did not think that there were still so many question marks related to CD4+ T cell responses.

What’s Next:

This experience has made me more cognizant of the importance of scholarly inquiry and has persuaded me to continue performing research as I advance in medical school and become a physician. The work I will one day be able to perform as a physician will only be possible due to past research, so I hope to continue to contribute to the field and aid in its advancements through further scholarly investigations.

 


 

 

 


Shawn Proctor, MFA, 
is communications and marketing program manager at Falvey Memorial Library.


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Last Modified: July 9, 2019