Alumni/Faculty Spotlight: Nick Tumolo

Meet Nick! Nick is originally from Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania, and graduated from Villanova University in 2010 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering. He then earned his MPA degree from Villanova in 2012. It’s safe to say he thinks Villanova is a great place, because he never left and is now currently employed full-time by the University as the Assistant Dean of Students. In this role, he oversee all student conduct and other student related concerns. He also serves as an adjunct faculty member in the MPA online program and teaches Strategic Planning and Analysis & Research II (statistics). Before the role of Assistant Dean, he worked for Villanova Residence Life and oversaw the daily management and operations of the residence halls. He also helps to coordinate Villanova’s commencement ceremonies, the annual Villanova Day of Service, and he teaches an undergraduate leadership and service learning class.


1) Tell us a little bit about your professional background. How/what made you join the Villanova MPA faculty?

I received a Bachelor’s degree from Villanova in Civil and Environmental Engineering in 2010. During my time as an undergraduate at Villanova, I became very involved on campus and met some incredible faculty and staff mentors. While I enjoyed receiving an education in engineering, I started to realize the profession was not for me, and I turned my sights to a career in Higher Education. When I started to explore the possibility of a graduate degree, I wanted a program that would provide a strong, yet broad, base in leadership and one that would also pair nicely with an engineering degree. The MPA program fit the bill perfectly, and provided the background I needed to be successful working at an institution of higher education. Right out of graduate school I found myself working in Residence Life at Villanova managing the residence halls, and three years later moved into the Assistant Dean of Students position, all thanks to the knowledge and skills I received with my MPA. As for joining the MPA faculty, the program’s professors impacted me in such a profound and positive way that when I heard there was an opportunity to serve as adjunct faculty, I jumped at the chance to serve current MPA students in the same way that my professors did for me. I love teaching in the online program and building great relationships with current MPA students and other faculty.

2) How did your Villanova MPA degree help you get where you currently are in your career?

The strong, mission-driven, values-laden foundation that is at the core of the program was something that really stayed with me, and guided me in making professional and personal decisions which landed me a career at a place I love to get up and go to work at every day, doing work that is valuable, meaningful, and fulfilling to me day in and day out. The people I met along the way – the faculty, staff, and fellow students of the program – were so instrumental in my development, and I really owe it all to them.  

3) What advice do you have for current MPA students?

Get to know your professors and fellow students as best as you can. Their experiences, wisdom, and insight is so impactful. Their professional contacts, mentorship, and friendship is priceless.

4) Were there any particular courses or learning experiences during your time in the MPA program that stood out to you?

Once again, I cannot praise the MPA faculty enough. Their mentorship, and everything they taught me, motivate me to be the best professional I can be, and even inspired me to join the ranks of faculty myself.