Mendel Postdoctoral Fellows


The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences supports three postdoctoral fellows who contribute to the development and teaching of core science courses taught within the Mendel Science Experience.  Mendel Science Experience (MSE) postdoctoral fellows are appointed for two years, with an option to renew for a third year.

MSE postdoctoral fellows are mentored by a tenured or tenure-track Villanova faculty member. Half of their time during the academic year is dedicated to supporting the teaching of specialized courses designed for non-science majors. These core science courses (referred to as MSE courses). MSE courses are thematic (i.e., not traditional survey courses) and are associated with a complementary thematic lab that is linked directly to the lecture section. Although MSE courses are topically diverse, they share a common approach, incorporating in a meaningful way each of four critical components: problem solving, laboratory/field experience, use of technology and application of quantitative tools, and interdisciplinary understanding. MSE postdoctoral fellows also conduct research within the laboratory of their faculty mentor. They are expected to demonstrate research productivity which, when coupled with their teaching experience, should prepare them for academic careers at institutions that value undergraduate education.

Our current Mendel Postdoctoral Fellows are:


Laura Getz (Psychological and Brain Sciences)

Laura Getz has been working in the laboratory of Dr. Joseph Toscano since August 2016. She received her B.A. in Psychology and Music from Elizabethtown College in 2009. Prior to graduate school, she was a research assistant at Goldsmiths College, University of London. She completed her M.A. (2012) and Ph.D. (2016) at the University of Virginia. Laura is interested in the perceptual organization of auditory and visual experiences, with research projects on topics including audiovisual cross-modal correspondences, rhythm perception in Latin salsa music, and top-down effects on perceptual processing.


Angela Kochoska (Astrophysics and Planetary Sciences)

Angela Kochoska has been working in the research group of Dr. Andrej Prsa since January 2017. Angela completed her undergraduate degree in Physics followed by a graduate degree in Astrophysics at the University of Ljubljana, Slovenia. Her research interests include radiative transfer in contact binary stars and classification of large-scale survey data. As a member of the PHOEBE (Physics Of Eclipsing BinariEs) development team, she is working towards the computation and implementation of contact binary atmosphere models through multidimensional methods of radiative transfer. She is also a member of Coordination Unit 7 of the Gaia team and a young scientist at the ISSI (International Space Science Institute) project “Understanding the Fate of Binary Systems in the Gaia Era”, where she’s using machine learning and dimensionality reduction techniques to classify variable stars.

Past Postdoctoral Fellows

Past MSE Postdoctoral fellows, their faculty mentors, and their current positions are described in the Table below:

Year Department Name Faculty Mentor Current Position
2010-11     Biology Sultan    Jenkins Anil    Bamezai Assistant Prof., LaGuardia Community College
2011-13 Biology Valentina Ferretti Robert    Curry Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology
2012-15 Chemistry
Amanda Norbutus Anthony Lagalante Visiting Professor of Chemistry, Rollins College
2013-15 Geography & the Environment Lori Sutter Nathaniel Weston Research Professional, University of Georgia
2013-16 Biology John      Schmidt Janice Knepper Assistant Professor, Villanova University
2015-17 Chemistry Matthew McLaughlin Jared Paul