New society Bridges gap between students and alumni



Oriana Sengos


As professional development and knowledge become integral aspects of a student’s college experience, the University has opportunities being created for students to expand their professional understanding.

The new Bridge Society in the College of Arts & Sciences is doing just that for its students.

This new society’s role is defined in its name. Bridge, which stands for Build Relationships, Inspire Development and Gain Experience, was started through the Office of Undergraduate Students and helps students become better prepared for the future. 

“Bridge Society was created to bring together Arts & Sciences students in all majors,” said Karen Graziano, director of leadership and professional development.

“It is connecting not only outside the school, but within Arts & Sciences and Villanova in general,” said Jamie Noonan, junior philosophy and political science major and co-president of Bridge Society.

The idea of this academic society arose from an apparent need. Not only does this society allow students to gain professional knowledge, but it will also allow them to make connections with people both  within their major and within their college in addition to outside the school with University alumni.

 “[The society] provides a structure for alumni to be engaged in, as well as potential employers,” Graziano said.

Bridge will be hosting many professional development events for its members throughout the year.

Students in the College of Arts & Sciences must apply to be in the Bridge Society. During fall recruitment, 150 students of all majors and concentrations were accepted. This number will increase, as the society is still accepting applications for spring recruitment.

Within the society, aside from the executive board positions, students are able to apply to be a leader of one of the 15 industry branches offered through the society.

These industry branches range from biotechnology, pharmaceutical and scientific research to human resources and hotel/restaurant management.

These different branches allow students to become more focused on potential career paths and opportunities as well as to interact with students and other professionals who are interested or already working in the field.

“This year, we’d like to have an event in each industry,” Graziano said, adding that she would like to see the branches “become involved with creating relationships with potential employers training for new student members, and leaders in various organizations as well.”

The big idea within this society is professional development and growth through the help of peers. Everyone can grow and learn from the information and experiences of others.

Bridge offers students a way to not only create these crucial relationships, but also help discover their interest and potential career paths.

With the many events and opportunities offered to Bridge members, the Office of Undergraduate Students is paving a way for professional development and helping students get prepared for life after graduation.

“[I hope students] leave with a greater understanding of all of the different ways they can apply their liberal arts education,” said Allison Webb, graduate assistant for the Office of Undergraduate Students.

From the students to the faculty members, everyone involved is excited to see Bridge make a difference for students.

The student-run organization is planning events and making connections for its students that will provide vast opportunities and forge professional relationships. Its leaders are passionate about making this society as beneficial as it can be.

“I would like to see students use this society to their advantage and bring to it what they’re getting out of it,” Noonan said. “They are learning not only from alums, but from each other.”