March 2015 - Canisius Online

Canisius to Confer LaSalle Medal upon Celani ’74

CelaniThe Canisius Alumni Association will confer its LaSalle Medal upon Ann Celani in recognition of her many generous contributions to advance the interests of the college. 

A 1974 alumna of Canisius, Celani built a successful career steering the financial and administrative divisions of Spearhead Transportation Services. Along the way, she satisfied her drive to serve others, contributing her time, talent and counsel to countless Western New York organizations including alma mater.

Celani will receive the LaSalle Medal during undergraduate commencement ceremonies on Saturday, May 16.

Click here to learn more about Ann Celani.

Cochrane to Receive Distinguished Faculty Award

CochraneThe Canisius College Alumni Association will present its Kenneth L. Koessler Distinguished Faculty Award to Mick Cochrane, PhD, during Spring Honors Convocation on Friday, May 15. The award, presented annually, recognizes a faculty member for teaching excellence and outstanding contributions to the academic world. 

Professor of English, director of the Creative Writing Program and Lowery Writer-in- Residence, Cochrane graciously shares his love of literature with students. He nurtures and develops the talents of young authors, who study and learn alongside published faculty with national credentials. Under Cochrane’s tutelage, the campus literary magazine, The Quadrangle, underwent a transformation. Its range of contributors expanded while its literary quality increased.

Recent graduates of the Creative Writing Program, with mentoring from Cochrane and his colleagues Eric Gansworth and Janet McNally, have been accepted into top graduate programs and work in a variety of fields, including publishing, education, arts administration and social work. Many have launched their own writing careers.

Click here to read more about Cochrane’s accomplishments and contributions to Canisius College

Nine to be Inducted into DiGamma Society

The Canisius College DiGamma Honor Society will induct nine new members during a ceremony March 27 at the Hotel Lafayette Grand Ballroom. The prestigious society is comprised of men and women who distinguish themselves in their service on behalf of students and alumni, and the advancement of the college.

The 2015 inductees are:

Theresa M. Amabile ’72, HON ’97, PhD, Edsel Bryant Ford Professor of Business Administration in the Entrepreneurial Management Unit and director of research at the Harvard Business School (HBS)

John P. Belbas ’82, dentist in private practice

Anthony B. Habib ’95, former president and CEO, Petri Baking Products Inc.

Gary M. Everett, director of public safety at Canisius College

Margaret C. McCarthy MS ’87, PhD, associate vice president for academic affairs at Canisius College

Joseph P. Michael MBA ’77, founder and president of Pro Benefits Administrators;

Edward M. Murphy ’73, vice president, chief investment officer and secretary, Merchants Mutual Insurance Company

Donald P. Ware ’78, chief financial officer, EduKids Inc.; and Ben K. Wells MBA ’82, former chief financial officer, Burger King Corporation.

GriffCenter for Academic Engagement

Griff Center

One-stop shop makes career services available to alumni

Thinking about a career change? Need some practice preparing for that next job interview? Or maybe you want a second set of eyes to review your resume.

Whatever your career needs, make sure they include the Griff Center for Academic Engagement at Canisius. Established in fall 2014, the Griff Center provides comprehensive programs, services and resources to Canisius students – and alumni – to help ensure their professional success.

To get started, visit the Griff Center’s new website here. Then, click on “career services” to make an appointment with a career counselor, learn more about the complete career development services available to you or to start your job search!

Kittens Receive Enrichment Training in Science Hall

Five kittens are taking up residence in the Margaret L. Wendt Animal Behavior Laboratory in Science Hall from Wednesday, March 25 – Friday, May 1. In cooperation with the SPCA of Erie County, Amanda Workman’s ABEC 220: Animal Learning class is providing enrichment and training for the kittens.

Workman, adjunct professor of animal behavior, invites the campus community to view the training and enrichment sessions during the following times (beginning March 25):

  • • Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 8:00 a.m. – 8:50 a.m.
  • • Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8:30 a.m. – 9:45 a.m.
  • • Mondays – Fridays from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m.

The kittens will be available for adoption through the SPCA of Erie County as soon as May 1. For more information, contact Miranda Workman at

Canisius Video Institute Celebrates 10th Anniversary

Photo caption:

 (Left to Right) Video Institute Co-directors Jamie O’Neil and Barbara Irwin, PhD, with 
Matt Rath ’09, video producer for Samaritan’s Purse, who spoke at the institute’s 10th anniversary celebration on March 25.

The Canisius College Video Institute celebrated its 10th anniversary of making a positive impact on the lives of thousands of our neighbors in Western New York and around the world. On Wednesday, March 25, the Video Institute hosted “Filmmakers on the Front Line: Living the Mission through Video Institute Alumni.”

The event featured a screening of several short films by Matt Rath ’09, video producer for Samaritan’s Purse International Relief, a discussion and reception.

The Video Institute was founded by Barbara J. Irwin, PhD, professor of communication studies, and is co-directed by Jamie O’Neil, associate professor of digital media arts. Since then, students have produced more than 85 social documentaries and service-oriented videos through the award-winning Video Institute to help non-profit organizations and human service agencies advance their missions in the Buffalo region and worldwide.

Canisius Video Institute alumni have gone on to careers as successful filmmakers, videographers, producers, editors and writers. Click here to read profiles of Video Institute alumni.

Canisius is Calling

Have you ever wondered who’s on the other end of your phone call from Canisius College?

Juston “Lee” Locklear ’17 in action in the Canisius Fund Call Center. Locklear is a psychology major and president of the Psychology Club on campus.

The Canisius Fund is alive with a group of student callers who report to work each night in the Eberl Call Center in Lyons Hall. These hardworking students make more than 80,000 calls each year to alumni, parents and friends, seeking support for Canisius’ programs and services through the Canisius Fund.

Thank you to the 1,914 donors who took the time to speak with a student caller during our current campaign and made a gift in support of our students – we are grateful!

With less than three months to go in our 2015 annual campaign, student callers are still hard at work. In the coming weeks, when you get your call, please take a moment to speak with the student caller and consider lending your support to Canisius College through a gift to the Canisius Fund or a designation of your choice.

Gifts to the Canisius Fund provide support for essential funding for tuition assistance and scholarships, and academic and athletic programs and initiatives that strengthen our Jesuit educational mission.

Don’t want to wait until your phone rings to support Canisius and our students? Make your gift online today at

Alumni in the News

Yuhnke ’65 reflects on 50 Years since the Selma march
In a front-page article in The Buffalo News, Robert E. Yuhnke ’65 remembers the challenges and potential dangers he and three dozen Canisius College students faced 50 years ago as they traveled to Selma, Alabama to participate in a historic freedom march seeking civil rights for all Americans. Read the entire article here.

What’s New with Your Griffs?

The men’s basketball team advances to the CIT quarterfinal round for the second time in the last three years. The women’s lacrosse team records its first MAAC victory, and the men’s ice hockey team’s season comes to an end with a 2-1 loss to RIT in the Atlantic Hockey semifinals. Stay up to date with all your Golden Griffin sports teams here.

There’s an App for That!

A networking and communication app for all Canisius alumni will debut in June. Stay tuned to Canisius Online for more info!