Center for Peace and Justice Spring ’15 course offerings

The Villanova Center for Peace and Justice has kindly shared the full listing of their Spring 2015 course offerings with us, for perusal during the coming class selection window. For those so inclined, you can view their full offerings at this link: Peace and Justice Spring 2015 Courses.


The Notre Dame Master of Science in Business

Screen Shot 2013-05-01 at 10.24.33 AMThe Master of Science in Business (MSB) is a yearlong graduate program for non-business undergraduates with little or no work experience. The aim of the program is to bridge a student’s undergraduate work with its application in a business context by providing fundamental business knowledge and skills.

The MSB program takes place over three semesters—summer, fall and spring—and provides students with a thorough grounding in business fundamentals, such as accounting, finance, business ethics, marketing and management principles. In addition, the 44 hours of coursework includes two integrative courses that enable students to combine the knowledge and skills they gained through their undergraduate major with business fundamentals in a way that creates a unique personal brand.

Who is it for?

Students who meet the following conditions may apply for the Master of Science in Business degree:

  • Will have earned an undergraduate degree at the start of the MSB program
  • Will have earned an undergraduate degree in a non-business area (such as liberal arts, science and engineering)
  • Will have graduated from an accredited university
  • Will have little to no work experience

The Notre Dame Master of Science in Business program provides a foundational set of business skills for students who want to bridge their undergraduate studies into a career in business.

University of Notre Dame Business-Science majors would not be eligible for this program.

MSB students do not participate in an internship or study-abroad program.

More information:

Master of Science in Business
276 Mendoza College of Business
Notre Dame, Indiana 46556

Semester in Environmental Science [Guest Post: Cindy Troy]

This is a guest post by Cindy Troy, LAS ’13, Environmental Science and Philosophy Major, Honors Concentration.

I came to Villanova University knowing exactly what I wanted to do with my life, or so I thought. I entered my freshman class as a declared environmental science major. My advisor, in the Department of Geography and the Environment, had worked previously as a TA for the “Semester in Environmental Science” program in Woods Hole, MA, and made an excellent pitch for the opportunity. When the director of the program came to Villanova, I met with him and decided to apply for a spot during the fall semester of my junior year. After filling out the application, getting recommendation letters, and about 3 months of waiting, I was accepted to start in the fall.

IMG_0596The experience was one I will never forget. I arrived in early September and moved   into my apartment, which was literally a block from the ocean. The views looked like they came straight out of a tourism brochure for Cape Cod. It was amazing. The bike paths, the ocean, the ferry; Woods Hole was just as beautiful as I had imagined. There were 20 other students from other colleges around the nation. We spent the first 10 weeks in an intensive program of lectures and lab work. A particular highlight of the program is that the people giving the lectures are the leading scientists in their fields. Dr. Ivan Valiella, the author of our text book, was sitting in his office two doors down from our classroom. Being surrounded by the nation’s topmost scientists was surreal.

IMG_0602Our labs consisted of going into nearby cranberry bogs, the surrounding grasslands, and the beaches to collect samples. We would go into the neighboring deciduous forests to measure rain gauges, count trees, and measure rates of photosynthesis. We went into tidal marshes and collected quantitative data of the number of fish, frogs, crabs, etc., and determined how the nitrogen and phosphorus pollution in the area were affecting the animals. We determined this by taking them back to the lab, taking skin samples, and checking their stomach for signs of their diets.

The second 6-8 weeks of the program was spent designing, executing and writing up our own independent project. We were able to work closely with a mentor from the Ecosystems Center at the Marine Biological Lab, but did the majority of work and analysis on our own. I wouldn’t have traded this research experience for the world.IMG_0668

Through this program I learned so much about myself that I couldn’t have learned from being at Villanova alone. I learned that while conducting scientific research in the field and in the lab is fun, it just isn’t for me. However, I did conquer my fear of public speaking, as I delivered a 20-minute talk on my research to a room of over 200+ renowned scientists. Also, I learned how to gather background information, compile data, and design my own research project. I gained so many valuable skills by working closely with these scientists, and gained some great references in the process.

Most importantly, I learned that I could combine the skills I gained in this program, and my passion for the environment, to pursue other goals. I’m now in the process of waiting to hear from law schools and hope to pursue environmental law. So, while I might not be the one determining just how pollution is affecting ecosystems, I’ll be the one trying to prevent it from being an issue in the first place.

Choosing A Major [Guest Post: Luke Bonomo]

Below is a guest post by Luke Bonomo, ’15. Please email OUS if you’d like to tell your own story about choosing a major.

Hello everyone. My name is Luke Bonomo. Currently I am a sophomore undeclared College of Liberal Arts and Sciences major from Massapequa, New York who is leaning toward majoring in either Computer Science or Mathematics.

So far, the story of my college major has been a wild, complicated rollercoaster ride that has only recently started to calm down. I entered Villanova as a Biology/Pre-Medical major with the intent of going to medical school after graduation. I decided that I would pursue a career in medicine while I was a sophomore in high school. I was somewhat interested in the human body and medical sciences and liked the idea of being able to have a tremendous impact on the lives of others while also having an extremely secure and high paying job. At the time, it seemed perfect. Reality, however, soon set in. After spending my entire freshman year in pre-health classes (General Biology, Chemistry, etc…), I realized that this was not the field for me. I was not the slightest bit interested in any of these subjects. In fact, I dreaded learning about them. I realized it was time for a change.

For the last few months of my freshman year, I thought constantly about other majors. Not a day went by where I didn’t spend at least an hour on the computer reading about other careers. During this time, I was able to single out a few interests. First and foremost, math had always been my best subject. Since I loved solving problems and working with numbers, math ranked high on my list of potential majors. I also seriously thought about pursuing a degree in education, in addition to math. I taught religious education while I was in high school and absolutely loved it. I could certainly see myself continuing down this path and teaching at a high school. Finally, I strongly considered computer science. Like my father, who was a computer science major when he attended Columbia, I have always been fascinated with computers and technology. Even though I had many important decisions to make in the future, I was happy at that time to have a basic idea of what step to take next.

In the mean time, however, I was encouraged by my parents, among others, to apply to transfer into the School of Business. Since the application was not binding (I could apply and decline if accepted), they believed that there was no harm in submitting the application. They also believed that the business school would be perfect for someone like me who had absolutely no idea what to do with his life. After all, I’d receive a great education and would be able to graduate with a (probably well paying) job. I saw no flaw in their argument, so that’s exactly what I did. I applied in April 2012 and waited to hear back. Sure enough, I received an email in May saying that I had been one of the very few students who was admitted as an internal transfer.

I was faced with a difficult decision. On the one hand, I knew where my interests lay. I knew that I was passionate about mathematics, about solving problems, about computer science, etc… and knew that I was not very interested in business. On the other hand, I was given an opportunity that many would have jumped at. I started to convince myself that I needed to transfer, that I wouldn’t get a job, or be as happy, if I didn’t. More importantly, I started to wonder what others would think if I turned down the School of Business. They’d certainly be disappointed and probably would think that I was crazy. Even though I knew that my interests lay elsewhere, I felt that transferring was the only option I had. So, I accepted the invitation and guess what? I was miserable. I knew it wasn’t what I wanted, but I did it anyway because I felt like I had to. Had I talked to someone back in May, I certainly wouldn’t have made the same decision. Instead, I kept to myself and did what I felt like I had to do.

I didn’t feel any better as the months went by, so again I realized it was time for a change. It took a lot of courage for me to transfer back into the College of Liberal of Arts and Sciences. People would certainly think that I was crazy now! However, I knew that the move was necessary. I knew that I needed to pursue my academic interests because, in the end, nothing else would be satisfying. It might entail cramming courses into my schedule over the next two years and taking summer classes, but at least I’d be happy. So here I am a few months later, as a future Math or Computer Science Major, writing about this decision in order to convey one simple message: don’t settle for anything. Follow your passions, do what’s best for you, and everything else will fall into place.

Week One of the Homeward Run [Guest Post: Erin Malone]

Erin Malone ’13 is a Communication Major and English Minor. Amongst her many activities on campus, Erin is an intern in the Office for Undergraduate Students. Thanks Erin!

It has become glaringly obvious that this semester is going to be full of ‘lasts’, the first Maone_Orientationof which was my last-first week of semester, and most recently my last home swim meet. The day-to-day grind of college can sometimes feel dull and boring, maybe even sometimes overwhelming. But, in every day there is something special – something even amazing – and for me, every day just keeps getting better. So this week, as I continue to take on my series of lasts, I toast not only the days to come, but also the days that have been as I reflect back on my very first year at Villanova, and the greatest lessons I have learned.

Lesson #1: Don’t underestimate the power of introductions.

At the time, I did not see orientation as a happy and exciting celebration of the four years ahead, but rather, a tiring and unnecessarily awkward weekend of forced icebreakers, and cheering. After two days of busy, name tag-wearing games, I was ready to run back to Philadelphia airport and catch the next plane back to Australia. Obviously I didn’t (realistically I’m far too lazy for such an act). Instead I created one of most resonating memories from my time at college. While the many ice breakers just to learn each other’s names were tedious and frustrating, it resulted in personally knowing at least 24 people on this campus, by name and interests, even to this day. Orientation was also the beginning of two of my best friendships here at Villanova; I know they will continue long after graduation in May. Now as I look at the value of networking and the importance of relationships, I look back at these introductions and think how dearly I would love the opportunity to go back through my years at Villanova to meet and remember all these people again.

Lesson #2: Embrace your core requirements.

It is no surprise to many that I utterly detested the idea of taking core subjects unrelated to my communication major. Instead of spending my first two years ticking off requirements, I put the majority of them off until my junior and senior year (the idea of which would now send most seniors stomachs hurling). However, what I learnt by easing my way into these classes is that everything is interconnected, whether you’re taking existential English, environmental theology, economics, or microbiology. I have been able to appreciate every general class for what it is (not what I wish it were) and see it as part of the bigger picture. Yes, I am a second semester senior taking History 1050 and Philosophy 1000, but already I am seeing connections in these classes to the seven semesters of learning I have already acquired and can now approach them with the excitement and attention they deserve.

Lesson #3: Never be afraid to let go and change.

If you’re like me, you arrived at college with a vague idea of what the experience should be like, and who you are going to become. While it’s good to have goals, sometimes following an image rather than listening to what we are feeling means we can miss a passing opportunity to become something completely different – something even better. As a freshman student athlete, I arrived with the image of becoming an Olympic swimmer (this is not a joke – this was my unwavering goal as a freshman). I focused so much energy and time into swimming, staring straight ahead at my goal, that I missed all the amazing opportunities I was passing on my journey; friendships, campus involvement, social organizations, things to see and do. Even when these opportunities came knocking on my door, I would shut the door in their face, unwilling to waiver from my one-direction gaze.

After living like this for a year, I quickly learned that a one-track vision is not only stressful, but also very lonely. During a summer of soul searching, I challenged myself to return to school as a sophomore ready to embrace what it could be, not what I thought it should be – a happy revelation that led me to realize I could still chase my goal of being a great swimming, but I could also be so much more. Please don’t misunderstand my point here – have goals, and dream big – just don’t forget to stop and look around every once in a while to see what else you may be missing.

While I learned so much more in my first year at Villanova, these three lessons have helped guide me through my subsequent years, leading me to where I now stand. As I head into my final semester, I hope to continue embodying these values, and hope that others may read this and take a moment to stop to look back at just how far they too have already come, and all the places they may go – freshmen, sophomores, juniors, and even seniors. College is a journey and graduation the final destination for us all, but the route to get there is unplanned, with endless variations, so don’t be afraid to take the time to explore, experience, and evolve.

1/30 Institute for Recruitment of Teachers (IRT) Info Session

Learn more about the Institute for Recruitment of TeacheScreen Shot 2013-01-27 at 8.08.04 PMrs (IRT) this Wedneday!

The Phillips Academy IRT addresses the lack of diversity in the nation’s teaching faculties by recruiting outstanding students of color and other scholars committed to diversity, counseling them through the graduate school application process, and advocating for sufficient funding for advanced study.  Since 1990, the IRT has built a national consortium of colleges and universities that are eager to enroll IRT students to diversify their graduate student bodies and to expand the pipeline of educators to teach, counsel, and administrate in American schools, colleges, and universities.  IRT urges its students to earn their advanced degrees and teaching credentials before they launch their educational careers.

Malissa Brennan from the Institute for Recruitment of Teachers (IRT) is coming to Villanova on Wednesday, January 30th.  She will hold an information session about the IRT at 5:30 p.m. in the Bryn Mawr room.  In the morning on Thursday, January 31st she will also hold interviews for students who are interested in applying to the program.

Students should RSVP to Brighid Dwyer ( if they plan to attend the session.

Here are the eligibility criteria:
Intern Summer Workshop:

  •  Applicants must be rising or graduating college seniors.

Associate Program:

  • Applicants must be rising college seniors, college graduates, or currently or previously enrolled in a Master’s degree program.

ALL Applicants Must:

  • For undergraduates, have earned a grade point average of 3.0 or above (on a 4.0 scale); and for graduate students, have earned a grade point average of 3.5 or above (on a 4.0 scale).
  • Have an undergraduate or Master’s degree major in mathematics, social sciences, humanities, education or computer science;
  • Demonstrate a commitment to eradicating racial disparities in education;
  • Demonstrate an interest in serving as a positive role model to youth;
  • Submit a complete application by April 1.

For more information about the program:

Thoughts on College [Guest Post by Dr. Dennis Wykoff]

Dr. Dennis Wykoff holds the Dennis M. Cook Endowed Gregor Mendel Chair in Genetics in the Biology Department at Villanova University.

When I think back on how I got to where I am now…teaching Genetics and Genomics and performing research on the evolution of signal transduction pathways in yeast…I would love to say that I knew what I was doing all along.  Alas, I did not, and I’m not really sure that I know what I am doing even now.  That is the beauty of a life well lived – you never know what is going to happen next month.  I went to a big state school back on the west coast, and it was easy to get lost in the crowd.  I decided I wanted to be a biochemistry major, but I also thought about Political Science.  In the end, I could get A’s in Biology and I had troubles getting A’s in Political Science, although I loved the classes.  I also took Art History classes and other “core” type classes.  Those are the classes that still influence me as I read a lot of biographies and I am obsessed with politics.

I knew from the beginning (i.e. High School), that I wanted to be a scientist of some type, and I came to realize in college that I really wanted to be a college professor.  I tried to do the best at what I did and always tried to enjoy it.  However, in the real world, some jobs suck.  I had a job for a couple of years in a lab that was miserable, but I learned from it.  I learned how I wanted to treat people and how I didn’t want to treat people.  Crummy experiences are actually good for you, just like green vegetables.  So let me give your 4 pieces of advice that I wish I had had in my college experience.

  1. Follow your bliss – Yep, sounds corny, but try to take as many classes as possible related to what you enjoy.  I’ve seen Biology students take three Biology labs in one semester (not because they are crazy as many of you may think, but because they are excited to take the classes).  Intellectually, you will rarely have the opportunity after college to get to spend 40 hr/week learning about things that interest you.  Admittedly, some classes will not be the most exciting, but load up on interesting classes.  Change your major if you aren’t taking a lot of classes that are interesting!
  2. Quality over quantity – There is nothing wrong with exploring lots of interesting things, but after freshman year, choose a few things and do them well.  In the end, employers, grad schools, and medical school is not going to be excited that you were involved in 5 different extra-curricular activities, but that you were involved in one that actually did something.  People can see through a smoke-screen of busy vs. doing something.  Spend time working in a laboratory, or preparing for Special Olympics next year, or organizing a Habitat for Humanity trip. Do something substantial!
  3. Embrace failure – I had disasters in my career.  Not getting into the right school, not getting a job, feeling like a complete idiot…However, trying to stay positive and see that every failure is really a new opportunity is what you should strive for.  Neurobiologists know that for every bad event, you learn a lot more than for an easy event.  Training yourself from you failures now will allow you to be more successful later on.
  4. Find new interests – Listen to a few podcasts every week.  I personally listen to the Science Magazine podcast and hear about what is new in the world of Science and Technology, but I also listen to the Freakonomics podcast too.  Ask your friends what they are reading, ask a professor what they would suggest would be an interesting read. Get a group together to talk about some topic of interest to you.

If you are science major, think about doing research with one of your faculty.  Villanova University is known as an “incubator” of future M.D. and Ph.D. students in the scientific fields.  Helping students is what all of the faculty want to do and personally, I find my job the most rewarding when I am helping students with research.  Admittedly, some of what is up above is pabulum, but it is worth reminding yourself of things every so often.  If you didn’t find anything useful in what is here, take a look at cool scientific pictures from my laboratory.




We study yeast cells and how transcriptional programs get re-wired in different species.  Re-wiring may be a mechanisms to help maintain different species.  The first figure is a melting curve of a fluorescence detected during a quantitative PCR experiment.  The second picture is what yeast cells look like under the microscope.  These are the same yeast cells that allow your bread to rise and make alcoholic beverages.  The third picture is of yeast cells that are expressing a protein localized to the nucleus and that protein is pseudo-colored red.  The cytoplasm is colored green and blue represents the shape of the yeast cells.

This Week’s [OUS Events]

This is the last week of OUS events until the Spring Semester: 4 different events!
Also, there are some academic notes below and The Startup Ventures Resume Book from the Villanova Career Center/ICE Center.

1. The Place to Begin: TODAY
Monday, November 12, 2012, 4:00pm-5:00pm, SAC 300

  • Start your professional development plan!
  • Discuss career searches, international interviews, leadership opportunities, networking, recommendations, cover letters, and more!
  • Registration required: please complete the form here.

2. Entrepreneurial Internships for A&S Students: Informational Session
Tuesday, November 13, 2012, 3:00-4:00pm, SAC 300

  • Learn about the Villanova Center for Innovation, funding opportunities, and how to best leverage your A&S degree for a career in Entrepreneurship.  This event is part of Global Entrepreneurship Week
  • Refreshments will be served.
  • For more information:

3. BRIDGE Society Lunch: Organizational & Personal Leadership Strategies: Gain an Understanding of How to Develop Both
Thursday, November 15, 2012, 11:30am-12:30pm, Falvey Library Room 205

  • Presenter: Tommy Re, Chief People Officer at Lonesource, Seton Hall University, Bachelor of Arts in Communication, 1984, and Master’s in Corporate and Public Communication, 1993.
  • Spots are limited, registration required: please complete the form here.

4. BYOL: How to Find an Internship
Thursday, November 15, 2012, 3:00pm-4:00pm, SAC 300

  • Bring your own laptop and learn how to use social media to find an internship and create an online presence.
  • Refreshments will be served.
  • For more information:

Academic Notes from OUS:

1. 11/14 & 11/15 Office for Undergraduate Students Extended Hours

  • OUS will be holding extended hours to assist Freshman with online registration. Please stop by SAC 107 with any questions on Wednesday, November 14th and Thursday, November 15th until 9:00PM.

2. Final Exam Schedule

  • Please consult the Final Examination Schedule located at the below link BEFORE making your travel plans at the end of the semester. Final exams CANNOT be changed due to travel plans as the Final Examination is available well ahead of time. If you have more than two exams scheduled on any given day, you have the right to reschedule one of them. Speak to your professors now to determine which professor can best accommodate you. Plan now if this is an issue. No exceptions will be made except in extreme circumstances about which documentation can be provided.

Also, check out:

GUEST Post by Dr. Sherry Bowen: “Diversity Opportunities at Villanova: My Perspective”

Below is a guest post by Communication Professor Sherry BowenWith Registration Advising underway, take some time to think about Diversity opportunities available at Villanova, and consider enrolling in a one-credit Intergroup Dialogue (IGR) course.

As a faculty member at VU for quite some time, I see the opportunities for being involved with diversity growing on our campus. It is exciting to me to see my professional activities in research and teaching moving beyond the classroom throughout the community.

My own research program over the years has dealt with how we construct our identities through our social interaction.  These identities include but are not limited to race, class, and gender. I am interested in studying the instances when particular aspects of our identity become salient to us in our interactions.  Sometimes we may not be particularly aware of our race, for example.  But, when we are the only person of our race in a group, suddenly we are acutely aware of our difference. Or, when someone treats us differently by making an unfair generalization about our sex (e.g., recently I heard someone say, “As a woman, you must love to shop”), our attention is piqued (P.S. I don’t love to shop).  When we communicate with others, we learn about ourselves through interpreting how others act towards us.  In turn, we form our responses to other people based on how we see the other(s) we interact with. This interactive process is central to communication, and when we overlay the cultural contexts into the mix, we see the possibilities for learning and for dialogue.

When students take Diversity courses at Villanova, they learn about unfamiliar cultures, they learn to see through the eyes of other peoples and cultures, and they gain understanding of how individuals are affected within the surrounding systems of power, oppression and marginalization.

Each semester Villanova offers any number of Diversity designated courses in three different areas:  US minorities (Diversity 1), Gender & Women (Diversity 2), and non-Western cultures (Diversity 3).  Take some and explore the world and yourself!

A new offering at Villanova is Intergroup Dialogue (or IGR).  One-credit topically oriented courses are offered on different topics.  Students learn skills that allow them to talk THROUGH difference, difference in race, gender, socioeconomic background, etc. while also learning about why people may have different experiences based on their identities. This is a model from University of Michigan that we have adapted through a clear focus on communication.  Check it out:

Feel free to reach out to me if you would like more information about diversity opportunities.  These are just a few!

Dr. Sherry Bowen, 17 Garey Hall, Dept. of Communication