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Candace Centeno, Professor of Law

I carried weight as the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs at Villanova Law School during the worldwide pandemic. When I took on the role of Academic Dean in June of 2019, one of my biggest worries was a long-term snow event. In March of 2020, however, I was faced with something much more complex and challenging than a blizzard. In my role, I was tasked with helping the Law School’s full-time and adjunct faculty continue education in the Spring of 2020 without a physical classroom. A daunting task when only two members had ever taught remotely.

Then, as the pandemic continued, we had to address long-term educational impacts. Although we were online for Spring 2020, what I am most proud of is that I was able to create a safe environment so that our 1L class could be in person throughout in the fall of 2020 and beyond, and the majority of upper class students could also have at least some classes in person in 2020-21. Unless a well-planned hybrid or remote program, law school education is not as effective on Zoom, and students were much better prepared for the profession as a result of their in person experiences.

I stepped down from the position in June of 2022 in part because of the stress of the position and its impact on my health. Only recently has my blood pressure returned to normal. Throughout it all, I was fortunate to have supportive co-workers who stepped up in all respects; my family, especially my husband, was extremely supportive of the extra work that was required over a very long period to navigate the school’s academic program through the first 2 years of the pandemic. If I was asked to do it again, knowing what was going to happen, I would still say yes. I am proud of what I was able to do to help our faculty and students.


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