October 2015 - Canisius Online

Canisius Students Produce Live Athletic Events for ESPN3

It’s game on for the new, state-of-the art Golden Griffin Sports Broadcast Center at Canisius College. Students enrolled in the sports journalism and broadcast concentration now produce live athletic events through an agreement with ESPN3. Canisius communication studies, digital media arts and sports management students also help operate the Golden Griffin Sports Broadcast Center.

“Students are involved in production from start to finish, and they work with professionals, in the classroom and in the studio,” says John Dahlberg, PhD, chair and professor of communication studies. “This unique academic component in our program is tied into a hot job market.”

Located in Science Hall, the Golden Griffin Sports Broadcast Center live streamed its first game on September 15. Athletic events on the broadcast schedule include men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s soccer, volleyball and men’s and women’s lacrosse. The broadcasts are produced under the direction of the college’s Department of Athletic Communications.

“From an institutional standpoint, it broadens the reach of our brand exponentially,” says Athletics Director Bill Maher. “For athletics, the association with the worldwide leader in sports enables us to broadcast high-quality games and it has benefitted our recruiting process. Parents, athletes and alumni are very excited about the ability to watch the games, live and on replay.”

The four-, five- and six-camera HD game productions feature full ESPN-branded graphics, replay and two- or three-person broadcast crews. In addition to live event production, Canisius students are responsible for pregame, halftime and postgame content production, as well as feature pieces, commercials, ingame and postgame highlight packages, interviews and coaches shows.

“Students will leave here job ready with an extensive portfolio, and resumes that say they worked for ESPN,” adds Dahlberg. “The real-world, hands-on experiences our students get in the Golden Griffin Sports Broadcast Center definitely give them a competitive advantage.”

ESPN3 is ESPN’s live multi-screen sports network currently available to 99 million homes at no additional cost to fans who receive their high-speed internet connection or video subscription from an affiliated service provider.

Visit for a complete schedule of ESPN3 games.

YOU CAN, here

Canisius formally launched its new marketing campaign – YOU CAN – in October. As the college heads further into the important fall recruitment season, the campaign will introduce Canisius to a new crop of prospective students in its primary markets of Buffalo and Rochester. YOU CAN promotes the value of a Canisius education by highlighting the extraordinary opportunities available to students and the successes they achieve as a result.

The campaign features outdoor, TV, print and digital ads, which will run through the end of November. A key component is a series of TV commercials. Below is a link to a webpage where alumni can view the commercials and learn more about the campaign. YOU CAN is the start of a long-term initiative to raise the level of awareness of Canisius as a premier institution. The college hopes alumni share in our excitement as it launches the first phase of our new marketing campaign.

Click here to view the new campaign.

Help students “…set the world on fire.”

I did not grow up in the best community or with the support that I often needed. My mother always dreamed for me to go to college, a dream that I never completely understood. When I received news that I would be attending Canisius on scholarship, my mother cried. She knew what I know now: An education is one of the extraordinary blessings in the world. Not only have I grown over these past few years but I have helped my family and community to grow with me. Canisius invested in me so that I can invest in my community. For this, I will forever be appreciative. - Vance Stinson ’16, Communication Studies & HR Management

By supporting the Canisius Fund, you help make a Canisius education possible for students like Vance. And by making a Canisius education possible, you inspire our students to “go forth and set the world on fire.”

Be the spark to our students’ flames. Make a gift to the Canisius Fund’s 2015-16 annual campaign by visiting

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

Canisius students (l-r) Maddie Rotterman ’17, Midge Bishop ’17, Gustavo Dos Santos ’17 and Olivia Danis ’19 made a special visit to President John J. Hurley’s office to personally thank him for his generous support of the 2015-16 Canisius Fund annual campaign. 

A Tradition of Excellence

Whether it’s been one year, 20 years or more since graduating from Canisius, alumni are proud to share their personal stories of how the college’s rich Catholic, Jesuit education expanded their minds and enhanced their spirits.

Canisius never tires of hearing these stories. They serve as strong reminders of the important work we do.

The most recent story came from Canisius alumna Lindsey Lauren Visser ’14, who wrote to the college earlier this month to share an experience that occurred on her first day of classes at the University of Oxford, England.

Lindsey’s story reminds us all that a Canisius education teaches students to think deeply about individual ideas from a variety of perspectives, to reflect on those thoughts and then put them to use professionally, personally and in the communities they serve.

As Lindsey writes, it’s a distinction that sets Canisius alumni apart, no matter where their educations take them.

I graduated from Canisius College in 2014 with a bachelor’s degree in history and political science, and have just begun graduate studies at the University of Oxford in England. I want to share a recent experience that makes me proud of my Jesuit education.

On the first day of classes at Oxford, our lecturer wanted to get a sense of where we were from and what we planned to study. We were asked in typical fashion to go around the room and say our name, our previous university, and our intended course of research. As one would expect, there were quite a few students who hailed from Oxford, Cambridge, Columbia and other very prestigious and well-known institutions.

When it came time for me to say where I was from, I made a point of saying I came from a small Jesuit school called Canisius College, and that I would forgive them in advance if they had not heard of it. After I finished my introduction, my lecturer clarified what a Jesuit school was for those who were unfamiliar with the concept. She explained that coming from a Jesuit school, I came from a very rich academic tradition that embraced cross-disciplinary study and had a very distinctive identity that was instrumental in shaping the course of my undergraduate education. She commented on how involved the Jesuits had been historically in education and how the Jesuit records are still considered impressive even today. To my great surprise, she even mentioned that she had been in contact with another American Jesuit university, Fordham, to access their archives. She concluded by expressing her disappointment that a Jesuit education is not an option in England and that the education system would be better for it.

In that moment, the Jesuit tradition and the excellence associated with a Jesuit education superseded the name recognition of some of the world’s most prestigious universities. It linked me to a tradition of excellence that crossed continents. But most importantly, it reminded me personally that I had just as much a right to be in that room as those from Cambridge, Oxford and the other institutions that had originally intimidated me.

I am eternally grateful to Canisius College not only for the incredible education I received but for inviting me into a legacy of rich academic and intellectual tradition. I am noticing more and more how my perspective is different from my colleagues because it has been shaped by a plurality of ideas that have stemmed directly from the diversity of the Canisius core curriculum. My identity has been shaped tremendously by the Jesuit values I was exposed to as a student. I know that I would not have been accepted by Oxford had it not been for the help I received from the incredible faculty at Canisius, including Ray Barker, PhD, adjunct professor of history; Julie Gilbert, PhD, associate professor of history; and Professor Emeritus of English Frank Riga, PhD. I am also grateful for the number of opportunities I received over the course of my education at Canisius.

I felt compelled to share my experience abroad because while it initially surprised me, it reminded me that not only am I able to identify as a proud Canisius alumna but I am also part of the legacy of the strong and rich Jesuit tradition.

Bouwhuis Library Gets a Facelift

Library renovations to the main floor of the Andrew L. Bouwhuis Library are complete. The renovation was generously funded through gifts from Philip C. ’48 and Josephine Lombardo, Michael ’63 and Christine Ryan, and the George I. Alden Trust.

The newly-renovated main floor includes eight new or modernized group study rooms, a library learning center that is used to teach research, a spacious learning commons equipped with public computers and a new service desk to welcome visitors to the library. The project also includes the expansion of the curriculum center, which houses a comprehensive collection of teaching materials to help education students enrich their lesson plans, and the creation of the Philip C. ’48 and Josephine Lombardo Collaborative Learning Center. This re-imagined teaching and learning environment combines the best of traditional aspects of library research abilities with new information technologies and collaborative learning environments, in an atmosphere that supports the ways in which students collect, process and share information in the 21st century.

Remember, alumni have full access to the library and computer labs, so stop by and check out the library’s new look!

Thanksgiving Mass and Breakfast

The offices of Alumni Engagement and Campus Ministry invite you, your family and friends to attend Thanksgiving Mass at 10 a.m. in Christ the King Chapel. Join us for a continental breakfast in the Palisano Pavilion immediately following Mass.

We invite those attending to please bring a non-perishable item(s) in support of St. Luke’s Mission of Mercy.

Please Click here to RSVP by Monday, November 23, 2015.

2015 Sports Hall of Fame Inductees

The Alumni Engagement Office and Athletics Department announced the 2015 Canisius College Sports Hall of Fame Class! Congratulations to these new Hall of Famers who will join a distinguished group of the college’s greatest athletes and coaches:

  • Brian Cavanaugh – Hockey
  • Genevieve (Garcia) Dispenza ’02, MBA ’05 – Softball
  • Ryan Steweart ’97 – Hockey
  • Jon Udwadia ’93 – Tennis
  • Matthew Vinc ’05 – Men’s Lacrosse
  • Dennis Misko ’67 – Rev. Paul J. Dugan, SJ Award

Inductees into the Sports Hall of Fame will be honored on Saturday, February, 20, 2016 at an induction ceremony, and later during half-time of the men’s basketball game versus Marist, which has a 3:00 p.m. tipoff.

Buffalo Opportunity Pledge Signing

Canisius’ senior leadership team joined President John J. Hurley and Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown on October 20 to sign the Buffalo Opportunity Pledge.  The city initiative is designed to foster, cultivate and preserve a culture of diversity, inclusion, fairness and equality throughout Buffalo’s businesses, organizations and communities. 

Pictured (l-r) are: Marco Benedetti, vice president for business and finance; Erica Sammarco, associate vice president and assistant to the president; Bill Collins, vice president for advancement; Byron Brown, city of Buffalo major; John Hurley, president of Canisius College; Margaret McCarthy, PhD, vice president for academic affairs, Kathleen Davis, vice president for enrollment management; and Richard Reitsma, PhD, chair of modern languages.

Student Senate Event Hosted by Alumni Association's Networking Committee

Members of the Alumni Association’s Networking Committee hosted an event for the Student Senate on October 20.  The event was the first of several the committee plans to organize for and with current students, as a way to introduce them to Canisius alumni and help them develop professional relationships with people in their fields of study. 

The Alumni Engagement Office would like to thank the co-chairs of the Networking Committee, Jennie (Johnson) Smith ’91 and Susan (Colmerauer ) Polvino ’82, as well as Rich Kubiak ’16 (USA President) for organizing a great event.

Vilardo '77 Unanimously Confirmed a Federal Judge

The U.S. Senate unanimously confirmed Lawrence J. Vilardo '77 as a federal judge in Western New York.

“I am honored and grateful to President Obama for appointing me,” Vilardo said in a statement. “I also am grateful to the Senate for confirming me, and especially to Sen. Schumer for all his hard work on my behalf. But most of all, I am anxious to start working to chip away at the backlog of cases in the Western District.”

Read more here.

Canisius Alumnus, Professor Quoted in National Fitness Magazine

Charles J. Pelitera ’80, MS ’90, EdD, discusses ways to properly balance your home and gym life in the November/December issue of Max Sports & Fitness Magazine. Pelitera is an assistant professor of kinesiology and coordinator of health and wellness at Canisius College

Click here to read the entire article, found on page 26.

Steinagle MSED '94 Named One of New York’s Top Teachers

The New York State Board of Regents named Jason Steinagle MSED ’94 one of five top teachers in the state. Steinagle is a seventh grade social studies teacher at Hamburg Middle School, where he’s worked for 19 years. See more about Steinagle in a WIVB-TV story here.

Griffin '54, HON '14 Featured in Business First

Richard Griffin ’54, HON ’14, a partner at Kavinoky and Cook, LLP, utilized more than two decades of experience with local public schools to submit a Buffalo Public School Master Plan to the district to address various major concerns. Those issues include a 30 percent absenteeism rate, a 50 percent graduation rate, four failing high schools and sub-par reading skills.

Read more about Griffin’s plan in Buffalo’s Business First here.

Marino '96 Brings Virtual People to Virtual Reality

Academy Award-winning director Sebastian Marino ’96 is using “lightfield capture” technique in a new way. The computer science major is exploring the technique on real people in order to create the most realistic virtual reality characters yet.

In 2002, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences presented Marino ’96 (and three of his colleagues at ILM (Industiral, Light + Magic) with the Technical Achievement Award in the Science and Technology category.

Read more about Marino’s latest project in Wired magazine.