August 2016 - Canisius Online

Register for Homecoming Weekend

Make your plans now to join all of the festivities during Homecoming Weekend, which will be held from Thursday, September 22 – Sunday, September 25, and reconnect with classmates, share memories and see what’s happening on campus.

The Favorite Professor event kicks off Homecoming Weekend on Thursday night at 6 p.m. in the Chester HON ’01 & Diane Stranczek Science Hall Commons.  It’s the perfect opportunity to catch up with your former professors and tour beautiful Science Hall.

On Friday, you are invited to attend the dedication of our new Golden Griffin statue at 4 p.m., near the Science Hall Commons entrance.  Homecoming is the perfect time to celebrate and dedicate our Griffin as we welcome back hundreds of Griffs to alma mater. The 1,500-pound bronze Griffin landed on campus recently, and prominently, and permanently, nests along Main Street outside of Science Hall.   

After the Griffin statue dedication, head inside Science Hall at 5:00 p.m. to celebrate milestone years including 1971, 1976, 1981, 1986, 1991, 1996, 2001, 2006 and 2011. The following affinity groups will also host events during that time: International Students, UNITY, All-College Honors, Club Football, Counseling and Human Services, College Student Personnel and Women of Canisius. Everyone is welcome to attend the Science Hall event, however, there is a charge of $5 for guests who are not in an affinity group or celebrating their reunion years.

The popular Tent Party in the Quad begins at 7 p.m. with food, music and dancing.  The Tent Party always receives great reviews from attendees, so don’t miss out.

On Saturday, the events continue with Java with the Jesuits, campus tours, Fall Fest for children of all ages, and a Family and Alumni Mass.  Cap off the day and celebrate the accomplishments of your fellow Griffins at the Distinguished Alumni Awards dinner in the Montante Cultural Center at 6 p.m.

Wrap up the weekend on Sunday with an Architectural Pedal Tour of Buffalo, which showcases the city’s amazing architectural gems, or catch volleyball against Rider at the Koessler Athletic Center.

Not part of a reunion class or affinity group? No worries! ALL Canisius College alumni are invited to attend Homecoming Weekend.  

For a complete listing of events and activities – or to register for Homecoming Weekend, click here.

Canisius Alumni Named to ‘40 Under 40’

Congratulations to four Canisius College alumni named to Business First’s ‘40 Under 40’ list. They are:

•    Patrick Clancy ’99, director, Freed Maxick CPAs
•    Michael F. Lewis ’01, PhD, director of special education, city of Niagara Falls
      School District
•    Sam Russo ’05, partner, Select One Search
•    Zachary Schneider  ’04, partner, 15 Fingers LLC, CMS Group LLC, Ru’s Pierogi 


The ‘40 Under 40’ list features Buffalo-area leaders who have made an impact at an early age. Business First received more than 140 nominations this year.

Read more about the ’40 Under 40’ here.

Your Support Inspires Our Students…

The college’s 2016-17 annual campaign is underway! As Canisius welcomes our students back to campus, the Canisius Fund asks you to help us kick off the new academic year by making your annual gift today.

Your financial support ignites a spark for our students, inspiring them to “Go forth and set the world on fire,” in the Jesuit tradition of St. Ignatius Loyola.  Gifts to the college – year after year – come together to provide essential funding for scholarships, academic and athletic excellence, and distinguished learning experiences that animate our Jesuit educational mission. In addition, the number of alumni who support Canisius every year influences the college’s ranking in key recruitment publications such as U.S. News and World Report.

Solicitation letters will soon be mailed, student callers will begin phoning and emails will be sent – but you don’t have to wait to make a difference in the lives of our students. Make your gift today so your support can begin to influence the student experience on day one of our 2016-17 academic year.

Canisius Alumnae Among Buffalo’s Most Powerful

Members of the Canisius College community make up nearly 20 percent of Business First’s Power 100 Women list for 2016. The list highlights the most influential women in the eight counties of Western New York. Business First defines “power” by the level of influence a woman has at her company, in her city or county, and by the length of her career. Only women who live in Western New York were considered.

The following Canisius alumnae held four of the top 10 spots on the list: Rhonda Frederick MPA ’03, president and CEO, People Inc. (ranked #6); JoAnn Falletta  HON ’00, music director, BPO (ranked #7); Kimberly Minkel ’96, executive director, NFTA (ranked #8); and Clotilde Perez-Bode Dedecker ’82, president and CEO, Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo (ranked #10).

Click here to view a complete list of Canisius alumnae honored.

“Dream, Girl” Screening and Red Carpet Event

Get a taste of Hollywood glamour when you walk the red carpet at the Canisius College premiere of the acclaimed documentary “Dream, Girl” on Friday, September 30 at 7:00 p.m. in the Montante Cultural Center. 

The film’s director and producer, Erin Bagwell, will be on hand for the screening, along with her co-producer Komal Minhas.  Bagwell is a 2009 graduate of the college’s digital media arts program and an alumna of the Video Institute.   After the screening, Bagwell and Minhas will host a question and answer session.

“Dream, Girl” showcases the empowering stories of women-run companies and the founders whose ambition and dedication drive them. The film features several female founders from a variety of diverse companies in tech, fashion, non-profit organizations and advertising.

“Dream, Girl” premiered in New York City on June 9 to rave reviews. The film has received more than 200 requests for screenings in 27 different countries, including a May showing at the White House hosted by the National Women’s Business Council.

As a result of the groundbreaking film, Oprah Winfrey named Bagwell and Minhas to her “Super Soul 100,” which honors 100 extraordinary individuals who live life intentionally, create great social impact and bring inspiration to others.

Left to right: Komal Minhas, Oprah Winfrey and Erin Bagwell ’09

Click here for more information about “Dream, Girl.”  

Click here to see the complete “Super Soul 100” list.

New Alumni Directory

Thank you to all who have updated their contact information for the new Canisius College alumni directory. The college is excited to partner with Publishing Concepts Inc. (PCI), to publish a new alumni directory for the first time since 2006. The new directory will help promote the college’s efforts to keep our alumni connected to alma mater and to one another.

PCI is communicating via email, postcard and phone to request that you update your contact information. If you have not responded, please do so as soon as possible to help us compile data and create the most accurate alumni directory possible.

For more information about the college’s new alumni directory, please contact Sharon Kasperczyk, alumni engagement officer, at (716) 888-2703.

Donor of the Month

Rhonda Frederick MPA ’03 is president and CEO of People Inc.  She appreciated how she could arrange her classes in the Master in Public Administration program around her work schedule.  Frederick says the practical examples her professors gave to support classroom lessons were very relevant to the business world.

Giving Back to Alma Mater
“I understand the value of a Canisius education, and the major role the college plays in the Buffalo community. It’s extremely important to make tuition as affordable as possible for deserving students.  I give to Canisius and joined the Leadership Society because Canisius gave so much to me.”  

Advice to students
“Take the time to learn about the real-world experience of your professors. If you are a graduate student, cultivate relationships with your classmates. Don’t just run in and out of classes.”

If you would like to join Rhonda Frederick MPA ’03 and become a member of the Leadership Society, or make a gift of any size, visit

Alumni Inducted Into MAAC Honor Roll

Congratulations to Daniel Starr ’58, PhD, former athletic director and professor emeritus of history, and Shauna (Geronzin) Green ’02, the only player in Canisius women’s basketball history to score more than 2,000 points, on their induction into the Metro Atlantic  Athletic Conference (MAAC) Honor Roll.

Each MAAC member institution selects one male and one female from its basketball “family” as part of the 2016 induction class. Starr and Green will be formally inducted at a dinner event on Saturday, October 13 at the Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame Court of Dreams in Springfield, MA.

Read more about the MAAC Honor Roll here. 

Casey MSED ’14 Appears in Goo Goo Dolls “So Alive” Video

Wendy Casey MSED ’14 (middle) with Goo Goo Dolls Robby Takac and Johnny Rzeznik.

Wendy Casey MSED ’14 showcased her boxing skills in the Goo Goo Dolls video for their latest single “So Alive.” Casey, a female boxer affiliated with UB Boxing, recently won the USA Boxing Ringside World Championship, Women’s Open Class, 125 lb. division and the Women’s National Golden Gloves Tournament.  

Casey, who holds a master’s degree in education from Canisius, teaches mathematics at PS 37 Marva J. Daniels Futures Preparatory School in Buffalo.  In “So Alive,” Casey is the body double for the video’s lead actor (Kristen McMurtree) and is in scenes where McMurtree appears to box against herself.

Watch “So Alive” here.

Manhertz ’14, MS '14 Makes NFL Debut

Chris Manhertz '14, MS ’14 played in his first NFL preseason game on August 11 as the New Orleans Saints traveled to Foxboro, MA, to take on the New England Patriots. Manhertz signed a reserve/futures contact with the Saints in January.

As a former basketball star for the Griffs, Manhertz played in 116 career games from 2010-14 where he made 94 starts and averaged 6.5 points and 6.8 rebounds per game for his career. A three-time team captain, he ranks fourth in school history with 789 career rebounds, and he is just one of three players since 1951 to lead the Blue and Gold in rebounding in three consecutive seasons.

Manhertz ’14, MS ’14 earned a bachelor’s degree in health and wellness in May 2014 and a master’s degree in sport administration in September 2014.

Read more about Manhertz here.

Mark MBA ’06, MSED ’08 Wins National Award for First Novel

The Harlem Book Fair presented Eddie Mark MBA ’06, MSED ’08, with the 2016 Phillis Wheatley Award for First Fiction. The honor recognizes a debut work of fiction by an African American writer. Mark accepted the award for his first novel, The Garden of Unfortunate Souls.

A doctoral candidate at the University of Toronto, Mark holds a master’s degree in business administration and a master’s degree in education from Canisius. He credits alma mater with helping him hone his writing skills.  

Read more about Mark and his first novel here.

Alums Use Social Media to Promote Local Businesses

Canisius graduates Drew Brown ’08 and Kevin Heffernan ’08 play a role in Buffalo’s rebirth through social media.  The duo founded Rise Collaborative, which utilizes various social media channels to promote small businesses, artists, non-profits, and advocacy groups in Buffalo and throughout Western New York.  

Rise Collaborative began as a blog and online apparel store and now has 5,500 followers on Instagram.

Read more here.

President’s Convocation is September 7

All members of the Canisius community, including Leadership Society members and alumni, are invited to come together on, Wednesday, September 7 at 2:30 p.m. in the Montante Cultural Center for John J. Hurley’s annual President’s Convocation. President Hurley will report on a number of important issues and discuss in more detail the college’s new strategic plan - Canisius 150: Excellence, Leadership, Jesuit.

This ceremony is an important coming together among the Canisius community to mark the onset of a new academic year.

If you are unable to attend, a video of President Hurley’s address will be posted to the Canisius website at

Leadership Society Reception

President John J. Hurley (right) welcomes new Leadership Society members, Tim ’12 and Victoria Kucinski.

More than 200 members of the Leadership Society – donors who give $1,000 or more annually – gathered for the college’s 2016 Leadership Society Reception.  Held on campus in August, the yearly event provides an opportunity for the college to recognize this special group of donors for the pivotal role they play in providing students with a Canisius education.

View more photos from the Leadership Society Reception here.

Golden Griffin Olympians

The 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio are now in the history books. The U.S. led the world with 121 medals, including 46 golds, 37 silvers and 38 bronzes. Did you know that over the years, three Canisius alumni, including two members of the Sports Hall of Fame, have competed in the Summer Olympics?

Edward F. Book, a sociology major from the class of 1992, played basketball for Canisius.  He moved to New Zealand in 1994 to play basketball, and represented New Zealand in the 2004 Olympics in Athens. He finished tenth.  In 2002, Canisius inducted Book into its Sports Hall of Fame.  
Grace L. (Jividen) Truesdale, a physical education major from the class of 1988, competed in cross country, track and soccer while at Canisius.  She competed for the U.S. women’s judo team (women’s middleweight) at the 1992 Olympics, in Barcelona, and was an alternate in 1996, 2000 and 2004.  

Michael A. Meeks is a physical education major from the class of 1996.  A Canisius standout, Meeks played basketball for Canada in the 2000 Olympics, in Sydney, finishing seventh.  The college inducted Meeks into its Sports Hall of Fame in 2007.    

Blue and Gold Golf Tournament

From left to right: Dave Higgins, Todd Hummel and Mike Knott. Missing from photo: Mike Carrig.

More than 120 alumni, faculty, staff and friends of the college teed off at the 19th annual Blue & Gold Golf Classic on Monday, August 1 at the Lancaster Country Club. Congratulations to the team pictured above, who shot 58 to win the tournament.   

The Blue and Gold Fund is the annual giving component of the Canisius College Department of Athletics. The fund is responsible for generating support to enrich student-athlete experiences at Canisius. The collective vision and financial contributions of donors help the Blue and Gold Fund promote the mission of Canisius athletics and our student-athletes as they strive to earn degrees, become leaders and win championships.

View more photos from the Blue and Gold Tournament here.

CPD Moves Back to Main Campus

The Center for Professional Development (CPD) is excited to announce that it moved back to 2001 Main Street in July, from its previous home at 300 Corporate Parkway in Amherst.  The CPD's executive and continuing education programs will now be housed in Science Hall, Room 1005.  

The Canisius Center for Professional Development offers custom corporate training, certificate programs and continuing education dedicated to providing lifelong professional education, developing workforce talent and promoting education in the community.  

For more information about the programs and services offered by the Canisius Center for Professional Development, visit, email or call (716) 888-8490.

Alumni Invited to Participate in charitySTRONG

Canisius alumni have the opportunity to participate in charitySTRONG, a new organization that connects community-minded individuals to board service at local nonprofits that have open board positions. Their services are available online, are free-of-charge and include access to a board-matching program. Governance training is also provided to prepare you for your board service.

Learn more about meaningful board opportunities through charitySTRONG here or register for free here.

Share in Your Devotion  

Share in the spiritual and social advantages of having a Catholic, Jesuit education by joining the college’s Sodality of Our Lady.  

The religious aim of the Sodality remains the same as when it was founded 120 years ago: To foster in its members an ardent devotion, reverence and love towards the Blessed Virgin Mary.  

Open to all men, women and students of lifelong liberal learning, the Canisius College Sodality meets on campus the first Sunday of each month, from October through May.  The meetings consist of Sunday Mass, devotions, brunch and a guest speaker.  

Upcoming guests for the fall Sodality speaker series include:
Sunday, October 2
John J. Hurley
President, Canisius College
Sunday, November 6
Rev. Peter LeValley, PhD
Senior Pastor, Kenmore United Methodist Church
Sunday, December 4
Rev. Gary R. Kibler,
Retired Pastor, St. Mary of the Lake Parish, Hamburg
To learn more or to join the Canisius Alumni Sodality, contact Paul Becker ’53 at 716-835-7826.