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Today begins a new series of blog and social media posts called #MeetVillanovaHRD. Through this series, we want to introduce you to some of the faculty, staff, and students in the Villanova HRD program! We are all more than just our educational backgrounds and jobs, and we want to highlight this by sharing the passions of and fun facts about our community! Today's post will highlight some of our HRD Faculty.


Carla Thomas

Quick Bio: I am a scholar and a practitioner in the Diversity, Equity & Inclusion realm. My biggest passion is helping organizations to redefine and realize inclusive cultures.

Do you have kids or pets?: I have a son named Isaiah. He's passionate about Sonic the Hedgehog and saving the world from zombies. We also have a 3-month old kitten named Charlie. She loves to cuddle and play!

What is the best advice you were given in your career?:

Speak your mind. You have something that people need to hear, whether they are ready to hear it is on them.

Three fun facts about Carla:

1) She loves to paint (mainly oils and acrylics)

2) She used to play professional basketball for the Chicago Sky in the WNBA.

3) She likes to learn different languages.

Connect with Carla on LinkedIn!


Joe Kwiatkowski

Quick Bio: I am results oriented and a serial learner with five degrees and have experience in starting companies from Main Street to Wall Street.

Do you have kids or pets?: Three children who are all highly successful and off my payroll. My wife and I have three loving grandchildren that are the love or our lives, our passion, and consume every minute of most days.

Three fun facts about Joe:

1) He enjoys riding his motorcycle through high mountain switchbacks and going on long trips from Delaware to Florida.

2) He loves inventing new creative games to play with his grandchildren.

3) He enjoys cruising to exotic locations with his wife.

What is something you hate that everyone else loves?: Procrastination...I love solving problems and implementing solutions.

Connect with Joe on LinkedIn!


Melinda Bremley

Quick Bio: I am a midwesterner who grew up in a large Catholic family and I put myself through school. I have two grown children myself (both presently living in Los Angeles).

Do you have kids or pets?: I have two kids - my son Holden has his own small animation business in LA - Studio LotuS (yes, he is emphatic the last S is capitalized!). My daughter Celeste is just starting her career in Finance with Boeing in El Segundo, CA. There are certainly worst places to visit when you are from the Midwest! No pets right now, but we used to have a beautiful Holland Lop rabbit named Chocolate Bunny. He was the best!

What is the best trip you've ever taken?: I visited each of my children when they studied abroad not too long ago. My son was in Tokyo and I had a great time when I was there but also really enjoyed Kyoto (where people would stop and stare at how tall I was - 5’10”). My daughter studied in Barcelona and I loved it there as well. We fit in a trip to Paris while I was there - great bonus! I have tons of frequent flyer miles from being in the consulting business so get to visit many great places! Malmo, Sweden was another trip that was fabulous.

What is your favorite pastime?: Home Improvements, I buy and renovate homes and convert them to rental properties on the side.

Connect with Melinda on LinkedIn!


Lyle Leritz

Quick Bio: I live in the PNW and work for the Economic Research Institute. I have been teaching for Villanova since 2013.

Do you have kids or pets?: Three kids: my daughter is 24, my son is 21, and my other son is 12. Two pets: a black lab and fish.

What is the best trip you've ever taken?:

Seven day fishing trip in British Columbia with my wife. Lots of salmon, some cod, but missed out on halibut that trip.

What is something you hate that everyone else loves?:

Big Bang Theory

Connect with Lyle on LinkedIn!


Debbie Hormann

Quick Bio: I hold a M.S. in Human Organizational Science/Human Resource Development from Villanova and a B.S. in Business Administration from Temple University. I am a HR professional with over 35 years of experience working within a wide variety of industries, including healthcare, manufacturing and real estate. I am currently a Talent Acquisition Consultant/Health Care Recruiter at Cooper University Health Care; my client work focuses on strategic talent management and leadership development.

Three fun facts about Debbie:

1) Her favorite holiday is Halloween. "I love the fresh crisp fall air, the holiday decorations, the vibrant colors of the leaves on the trees and seeing all of the cute trick-or-treaters all dressed up having fun."

2) She loves working at Cooper and Villanova. "They are both my passions in life. Getting the opportunity to make a difference in other people's lives is truly inspiring, rewarding and awesome!"

3) She loves all animals! "I especially enjoy going to Lancaster, PA to the petting zoo and feeding the goats as they are adorable and friendly!"

Do you have kids or pets?: My husband and I have two miniature schnauzers named Christy and Chase. They are our furry children and are litter mates (brother and sister). They will be eight years old next March. They are happy and playful and the love of our lives! We are blessed to have them in our family!

What is the best advice you were given in your career?: The best advice I was ever given was to continue doing what I love every day which is working in Human Resources and helping others. Human Resources has always been my passion as it has been extremely rewarding and gratifying all these years. I am blessed, honored and proud to have found a life-long career that truly makes my happy every day!

Connect with Debbie on LinkedIn!


Christian Thoroughgood

Quick Bio: I hold a B.A. in Psychology and Economics from the University of Maryland, College Park, and an M.S. and Ph.D. in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from the Pennsylvania State University. My research focuses on the areas of leadership, diversity and inclusion, positive organizational psychology, and workplace mistreatment.

What is the best advice you were given in your career?: I'm a researcher, so the best advice I ever got was that great scientific discoveries always begin with great questions and a strong focus on validity in research methodology.

Three fun facts about Christian:

1) He was the captain of his high school baseball team.

2) He loves painting and art (as much or more than research).

3) He was an Eagle Scout back in the day.

Connect with Christian on LinkedIn!


Luis Buentello

Quick Bio: I am an adjunct Professor at Villanova and President/Owner of Beacon Associates LLC, a Global Executive Search and Human Resources Consulting firm that specializes in multicultural recruiting and diverse leadership development for large and mid-size companies worldwide.

Do you have kids or pets?: I have two daughters; the eldest is an attorney for JP Morgan & Chase and leads internal investigations and the youngest is a business development analyst for Deloitte. And we have a 6-year-old Irish Wheaten Terrier named, Ulysses.

What is the best trip you've ever taken?: Florence, Italy is our go-to place.

What is your favorite pastime?: Reading and science fiction movies!

Connect with Luis on LinkedIn!


We will be sharing more bios and fun facts on our Villanova HRD faculty. Follow along with #MeetVillanovaHRD to learn more about the many diverse members of our HRD community.


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