February 2015 – Canisius Online

Canisius Alumni Among WNY’s Most Influential

Congratulations to the 31 Canisius alumni who were ranked on Business First’s Power 250 list.  The annual list is comprised of the men and women whom the newspaper feels wield the most clout in Western New York’s eight-county region. The Canisius community represents more than 16 percent of the Power 250 list. Here’s a brief breakdown of how the Canisius community fared.


Number of Canisius alumni named to Power 250


Number of honorary degree recipients named to Power 250



Number of Trustees named to Power 250


President John J. Hurley’s place on the Power 250

(President Hurley and University at Buffalo President Satish Tripathi are the highest-ranking local college presidents to make the Power 250 list.)



Clotilde Perez-Bode Dedecker ’82, president and CEO,

Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo



Carl Montante ’64, HON ’04, president and managing director,

Uniland Development Co.

Click here to see the full list of those Canisius community members named to the Power 250.

Click here to see Business First‘s entire Power 250 list.

Canisius Appoints McCarthy New VP for Academic Affairs

Peg McCarthy headshotCanisius President John J. Hurley appointed Margaret C. McCarthy, PhD, as the new vice president for academic affairs. McCarthy is a professor of graduate education at Canisius and currently serves as associate vice president for academic affairs. McCarthy will assume the position of vice president on July 13.

“Dr. McCarthy’s collaborative approach and continuous expressions of the ideals and values embedded in the college’s Catholic, Jesuit mission and identity will be invaluable to her in the role of vice president for academic affairs,” said President Hurley. “I certainly look forward to working with her as we continue to chart a new course for Canisius.”

McCarthy has been a dedicated member of the college’s faculty and administration for more than 30 years, during which time she has held a number of key roles at Canisius. Prior to her current position, McCarthy served as dean of the School of Education and Human Services.

She succeeds Richard A. Wall ‘78, PhD, who has served as the college’s interim vice president for academic affairs since 2011. Wall is a professor of economics and finance at Canisius. He will return to the faculty for the 2015-2016 academic year.

Click here to read more about McCarthy and her tenure at Canisius. 

It’s Not Too Late to Get in the Game

Beat Niagara graphic

There’s still time to get in the game by participating in the Beat Niagara Challenge.

After the women’s basketball win (65-59) and the men’s basketball loss (82-71) against the Purple Eagles in the KAC on February 24, Canisius continues as the leader of the annual Battle of the Bridge Competition against its biggest rival.

Please take this opportunity to participate in the Beat Niagara Challenge and support our students by making a gift to the Blue & Gold Athletics Fund or a designation of your choice.

Gifts to the Blue & Gold Athletics Fund provide essential funding for scholarships, staffing support, recruiting and team travel that is critical to the success of our Golden Griffins both on the playing field and in the classroom.

Make your gift today at canisius.edu/gift. All donors who make a gift of $50 or more will receive a limited edition “In Petey We Trust” t-shirt.

Your support of the Beat Niagara Challenge gives our team the winning edge. Go Griffs!

Canisius Alumus Wins Big on CNBC’s “Restaurant Startup”

Lloyd Taco Truck owners Cimino ’03 and Dorsaneo Receive $250,000 for brick-and-mortar restaurant

Lloyd Taco Truck image

Canisius alumnus Pete Cimino ’03 and his business partner and childhood friend Chris Dorsaneo accepted a $250,000 investment in exchange for a 25 percent stake in Lloyd Taco. The deal came down after some intense negotiations during an episode of CNBC’s reality series “Restaurant Startup,” which aired on Tuesday, February 10.  

The pair will use the $250,000 investment to open a brick-and-mortar restaurant on Hertel Avenue between Wellington and Sterling Avenues later this spring.  The investors are Tim Love, a Texas chef and Joe Bastianich, business partner of chef Mario Batali and an executive producer of the show.

Lloyd Taco Truck was launched in 2010 as Buffalo’s first food truck. Soon, Lloyd fans eagerly checked social media daily (@whereslloyd) to find out where the truck would be, and gladly waited in long lines to get a taste of their favorite burrito or taco. Lloyd Taco Truck is also popular among guests at Canisius’ Spring Fest and Homecoming events.

The Lloyd Taco Truck fleet has since increased to four, which makes it the largest of more than 20 local food truck operations. Cimino and Dorsaneo spearheaded the passing of a Buffalo food truck permit law that has fostered a mobile-food boom.

A Kenmore native, Cimino is a 2003 cum laude graduate of Canisius with a degree in mathematics and teacher education. 

Click here to read The Buffalo News article about Cimino’s appearance on “Restaurant Startup.”

Click here to see his feature in Canisius Magazine. 

Come Serve with Campus Ministry

Canisius alumni are invited to join Campus Ministry this spring when the team travels to New York City May 20-24, for its annual service and immersion program.  Participants will serve with Covenant House in the Times Square section of New York City.  Covenant House shelters more than 60,000 homeless and trafficked youth each year.

The trip is equally balanced with service, immersion, community, prayer and reflection.  It takes the place of Campus Ministry’s successful service and immersion program in New Orleans, which has been offered in recent years.  The hope is to draw new alumni, family and friends of the college to this unique Canisius experience.

Participants are responsible for their own transportation to New York City plus a $250 program fee.  Lodging and most meals are included. 

Click here to learn more.

MAAC Bball logoMAAC Championship Post-Game Reception

Saturday, March 7 – Albany, NY

The Canisius Men’s Basketball team will  compete in Round 1 of the MAAC Championship Tournament next Saturday, March 7  at 2:30 p.m. in the Times-Union Center in Albany. Canisius alumni, faculty, staff and friends who attend the game are invited to a post-game reception immediately following the game at CH Evans Brewing Co at the Albany Pump House, 16 Quackenbush Square. Join us for complimentary hors d'oeuvres as we celebrate a Golden Griffin first-round victory. Other food and drinks will be available for purchase. 

Click here to RSVP.

“The Teacher Wars” is Topic of Fitzpatrick Lecture

Dana Goldstein imageAcclaimed journalist and New York Times best-selling author Dana Goldstein will speak at Canisius on Monday, March 9 at 7 p.m. in theMontante Cultural Center. Her lecture is entitled “The Teacher Wars: The History and Politics of America’s Most Embattled Profession.” The topic will highlight Goldstein’s research, which chronicles 175 years of groundbreaking history about the American education system and explores that past history for answers to the controversies that plague today’s public schools.

The event is presented by the William H. Fitzpatrick Chair of Political Science Lecture Series.  It is free and open to the public.  Seating is limited. 

Click here for more information. 

“Sultan of Synthesis” to Speak at Gassman Lecture 

Baran imageDubbed the “sultan of synthesis,” Phil S. Baran, PhD, will visit campus on Friday, March 13 at 1:00 p.m. to speak under the auspices of the Paul G. Gassman Memorial Seminar.  Baran’s lecture, entitled “Studies in Natural Product Synthesis,” will take place in the Montante Cultural Center. 

Baran is the Darlene Shiley Chair in Chemistry at the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, CA and considered among the most brilliant of young organic chemists.

Click here to learn more. 

Enjoy the Frozen Finale at Buffalo RiverWorks

Spring is just around the corner, so don’t miss your chance to enjoy skating, curling and frozen fun at the all-new Buffalo RiverWorks. Mark your calendar for Saturday, March 21 and join the Canisius College Buffalo/Niagara Alumni Chapter as they invite alumni, family and friends to celebrate the end of the season.  Curling is scheduled from 3 p.m. – 5 p.m. and skating from 3:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.  A reception will be held at Pearl Street Grille and Brewery at 5:30 p.m.  

Click here for more information and to register.


President Obama Nominates Vilardo ‘77 for Federal Court

President Barack Obama nominated Buffalo attorney and Canisius trustee Lawrence Vilardo ‘77 to become a federal court judge for the Western District of New York.  Vilardo has been a partner at Connors and Vilardo since 1986, and handles both civil and criminal matters at the trial and appellate levels.

Williams ’10 Hits Like a Girl

Success doesn’t happen by accident.  Just ask Venzella “Joy” Williams ’10.  The young drummer recently went on tour with Beyoncé.  Watch for a feature about Williams in the winter 2015 issue of Canisius Magazine

Crawley MS ’13 is Head Sports Performance Coach at HARBORCENTER

Health and human performance alumnus Matt Crawley MS ‘13 moves back to Buffalo, from Florida, to take on a new position that caters to the elite athlete.

Machajewski ’08 Has Surefire Success in Insurance

When Dana Machajewski ’08 took a job as a customer service representative at Geico, she figured she would stay a few months at the insurance company until she found a job in her field. Seven years later, Machajewski is a supervisor in charge of eight underwriters, who measure the risk exposure of potential and existing clients.

Med School Student Croglio ‘13 has a Prescription for Business

Vincent Croglio ‘13 employs his entrepreneurial spirit to help pay for medical school.  

January 2015

Commencement 2015

Two of the nation’s most dynamic business leaders will address the graduate Class of 2015 during commencement ceremonies on Wednesday, May 13 at 7:00 p.m. in the Koessler Athletic Center.

Robert E. Rich, Jr headshot imageMelinda Rich headshotRobert E. Rich Jr. and Melinda Rich are chair and vice chair, respectively, of Rich Products Corporation, the nation’s largest family-owned frozen food manufacturer.  Under their leadership, the company expanded into new and emerging markets, grew to more than $3 billion in worldwide sales revenue and distinguished itself for delivering high-quality customer service while nurturing an award-winning organizational culture. 

Catherine M. Burzik headshot imageCatherine M. Burzik ’72, a leader in the life sciences industry, will return home to Western New York and alma mater in May to serve as commencement speaker for the Canisius undergraduate Class of 2015.  Ceremonies are scheduled for Saturday, May 16 at 10:00 a.m. in the Koessler Athletic Center. 

Burzik successfully managed several major biomedical and biotechnology businesses throughout her 30-plus year career.  She is currently an operating partner at Targeted Technologies, a venture capital firm focused on medical devices, life sciences and biotech investments. 

Burzik is a former member and chair of the Canisius Board of Trustees and played an integral role generating support for the college’s successful Legacy of Leadership campaign. 

Catherine Burzik, Robert Rich Jr. and Melinda Rich will receive honorary degrees during commencement ceremonies, as will Rev. David Hollenbach, S.J., professor of theology at Boston College; Hon. William M. Skretny ’66, chief U.S. District Judge for the Western District of New York; and Civil Rights legend Rev. Dr. C.T. Vivian, a spiritual leader and strategist. 

President John J. Hurley headshot image

President Hurley Named to Irish Education 100

President John J. Hurley was named to the 2014 Irish Education 100.  Irish Education 100 celebrates and honors the latest generation of Irish educators and supporters of education.

Click HERE to Read More


Athletics Inducts Three into Sports Hall of Fame

Sports Hall of Fame Inductees

Pictured (l-r): Pat and Don McMahon '55, MS '61, Ellen O. Conley, PhD, Veronica Maher ’02 and Jenél Stevens ’04, MS ’05

The Canisius College Athletics Department welcomed three new members to its 2015 Hall of Fame class.  Inducted on Sunday, January 25 were Veronica Maher ’02 (softball), Jénel Stevens ’04, MS ’05 (basketball) and Ellen O. Conley, PhD, retired vice president for student affairs, former athletic administrator and women’s sports advocate. 

Don '55, MS '61, and Pat McMahon were both presented with the Rev. Paul J. Dugan, S.J., Award.  The award recognizes individuals for their significant contributions to Canisius athletics.  The McMahons are long-time supporters of the Athletics Department.

Click here to learn more about these award recipients and the Sports Hall of Fame inductees.

Score One for John Axford MS ’13

Score one for John Axford MS ’13!   The major league baseball pitcher and Canisius alumnus talks about how the Masters in Sport Administration Program prepared him for a professional career, on and off the field, in this latest video

A current free agent and former representative for the MLB Players Union, Axford played for the Pittsburgh Pirates and previously pitched for the Milwaukee Brewers, the St. Louis cardinals and the Cleveland Indians. 

He is a 2013 graduate of the Masters in Sport Administration Program and recently returned to alma mater to serve as the keynote speaker at the college’s annual MSA Sports Forum

When Canisius beats Niagara, everybody wins.

Support the Beat Niagara Challenge and help our student-athletes win when the Golden Griffin men and women take on archrival Niagara February 24 at the KAC.

Open for Business

start up ny graphic

Canisius College’s first START-UP NY partnership opened for business this winter, when Simply Natural Clothing moved its manufacturing work to Demerly Hall on Main Street.  In partnering with Canisius, the eco-lux apparel and accessories company will offer students, who study fashion merchandising, business, marketing and accounting, opportunities to work in the facility, assist in business development strategies, and learn how to operate 3D manufacturing machinery. 

START-UP NY is a statewide initiative that provides tax exemptions to new and expanding businesses that locate on college campuses.  The idea is to spur economic development in the region while providing joint research opportunities for faculty and practical learning experiences for students. 

Simply Natural Clothing is expected to invest more than $1 million in the business and create 16 jobs over the next five years. 

Sign Up Now for Science Camp

When school lets out for summer, make sure your children aren’t left behind.  Sign them up now for Canisius College Science Camp, August 3 - 7.  This week-long camp turns today’s young investigators into tomorrow’s science leaders by exploring a different science topic through various hands-on activities. 

Learn more about Canisius Science Camp and how to register by clicking here 

Canisius Hosts International Symposium on the Perils, Promises of Ecotourism

Ecotourism was the subject of an international symposium hosted by Canisius College last week.  The symposium brought together world renowned scholars and practitioners from across the globe to discuss “Ecotourism:  A Partnership with Nature?” 

Over the course of two days, the speakers and panelists examined the critical variables that underlie the ecotourism enterprise, reporting on the industry’s track record to date, and its promise for the future.

“When done right, ecotourism should be a genuine partnership with nature in which two separate benefits are accrued:  we humans are uplifted by close encounters with the natural world, while at the same time the cause of wildlife conservation is advanced,” noted Canisius Animal Behavior Professor Michael Noonan, PhD, who organized the symposium.

The symposium panel concluded that, at present, the industry is only about midway towards achieving that idealized equation.  A set of recommendations emerged from the symposium deliberations.   

Click here to read more about these recommendations.

Call for Award Nominations

The Office of Alumni Engagement is seeking nominations for the Distinguished Alumni, Distinguished Faculty and Distinguished Senior awards.

The Distinguished Alumni Award is presented periodically to recognize the accomplishments of alumni who have distinguished themselves in their chosen careers. The deadline for nominations for this award is March 25, 2015.

The Distinguished Faculty Award recognizes outstanding faculty members of Canisius College.  To qualify, a faculty member must be a full-time faculty member of the college andhave served in that capacity for at least three years.  He or she must also be distinguished for contributions to the academic world and teaching excellence.

The Distinguished Senior Award recognizes seniors who are in good academic standing and have distinguished themselves through their leadership roles and involvement at Canisius.  The deadline for submissions is Friday, February 6, 2015.

If you are interested in nominating someone for any or all of these awards, please do so online by clicking here or contact the Alumni Office at 1-800-201-4952 for more information.  


“Joy” Williams ’10 Keeps the Beat for Beyoncé

Venzella “Joy” Williams ’10 has gone from playing drums in her church to sharing a stage with one of the world's biggest superstars.  Hear the Urban Leadership Learning Community (ULLC) alumna in her recent interview on WBFO radio.  Then, watch for her feature in the upcoming issue of Canisius Magazine.

Robinson ’07 a Rising Star

Shopper Marketing magazine knew what it was doing when it named Krystina Robinson ’07 a “Person to Watch” in the coming year.  The publication featured the communication studies alumna in its November 2014 issue, recognizing her as a rising start in the marketing industry. 

Manhertz ’14 Signs with Buffalo Bills

The Buffalo Bills signed former Canisius College basketball player Chris Manhertz ’14 to a contract in December.  The 6-foot, 235 pound alumnus is likely to play as a tight end.