Nora Pillard Reynolds, Ph.D.

Nora Pillard Reynolds, PhD, is Executive Director of Water for Waslala and Associate Editor and Research Manager for She approaches this work from her experiences as a non-profit practitioner, higher education administrator, instructor, and researcher.

Immediately following her graduation from Villanova University in 2002, Nora travelled to Nicaragua for the first time. That trip led her to co-found Water for Waslala, an NGO that works for access to clean drinking water in Waslala, Nicaragua. Water for Waslala has implemented 18 community water projects serving over 3,400 residents while reaching another 3,800+ residents since 2014 through a household filter micro-loan program. Water for Waslala has a team of six employees in Nicaragua and has hosted over 250 Villanova University College of Engineering faculty and students in Nicaragua over the years. Most recently, as the Executive Director, Nora led the acquisition strategy and on April 1, 2016, Water for Waslala was acquired by WaterAid.

During the startup phases of Water for Waslala, she also earned her MA in International Development at La Univerisidad Complutense de Madrid in 2004. When she returned to the U.S. after graduate school, she worked as a 1st grade teacher at Potter-Thomas Bilingual School in North Philadelphia through Teach For America while completing her MS in Elementary Education at St. Joseph’s University in 2006. She returned to Villanova as the Assistant Director of the Center for Undergraduate Research & Fellowships to work in higher education before leaving to pursue her PhD at Temple.

At Temple she taught two community-based learning courses, “Education in the Global City” and “Education for Liberation: Here & Abroad” while pursuing her research focused on community perspectives in global service learning. Her dissertation, Is international service-learning win-win? A case study of an engineering partnership, utilized participatory methods to explore community perspectives in Waslala, Nicaragua about the ten+ year partnership with Villanova University’s College of Engineering. Findings from her dissertation have been published in the Michigan Journal of Community Service Learning (2014) and in the recent volume International Service Learning: Engaging Host Communities (2015). Currently, she serves as Associate Editor of and Research Manager for the Global Engagement Survey.