July 2016 - Canisius Online

Register for Homecoming Weekend

Always a Griffin: Homecoming Weekend is just two months away! Rekindle old friendships during this year’s festivities from Thursday, September 22 – Sunday, September 25. Plans for a memorable weekend are in place with a variety of events that everyone is sure to enjoy.  

For a complete list of events or to register for Homecoming Weekend, click here.

Find out who is planning to attend here.

Washo is New Director of Alumni Engagement

Liz Culliton Washo is the new director of alumni engagement. Charged with building a strategic and sustainable alumni program, Washo will reconnect the college’s graduates with alma mater through new career development, student recruitment, philanthropic and mission-driven initiatives.

Washo comes to Canisius from the University of Pennsylvania’s Office of Undergraduate Admissions.

In addition to having worked in admissions at Penn, Washo is the former associate director of alumni relations at the university’s renowned Wharton School of Finance. In this role, she helped grow reunion weekend attendance by as much as 18 percent through her strategic coordination of volunteer committees.  Washo also worked closely with class ambassadors to conceive and implement activities and programs to sustain class identity and reinforce the concept of lifelong connections to Wharton.

She earned a bachelor’s degree in communications and the history of art and architecture from the University of Pittsburgh, and a master’s degree in higher education from the University of Pennsylvania.  Washo has strong ties to Canisius as her father, two uncles and grandfather all attended the college.

Read more about Washo here. 

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.

Father Slon is New Rector

Rev. Thomas R. Slon, SJ, is the new rector of the Canisius College Jesuit Community.  Appointed by Superior General of the Society of Jesus Rev. Adolfo Nicolas, SJ, Father Slon fosters the spiritual well-being of the community and its members, ensures the efficient operation of the Jesuit community, and assists the directors of the apostolic works where the Jesuits of the community minister.

Most recently, Father Slon served as the executive assistant (Socius) for the New York/Northeast Jesuit Provincial.  

Read more about Father Slon here.

Canisius Hosts Inaugural “Be the Light” Institute

“Be the Light” participants stop for a photo at Canalside.

Local high school students had the chance to ask difficult questions about their faith and the moral dimensions relevant to the modern-day challenges they encounter at Canisius College’s inaugural Be the Light Youth Theology Institute. The institute is funded by a generous grant from the Lilly Foundation.

Hosted over the summer, the six-day faith leadership experience brings to campus rising high school students from Western New York, to deepen their understanding of themselves as people of God.

“The Be the Light Institute introduces high school students to what the Jesuits call ‘a faith that does justice,’ namely Catholic philosophy and theology viewed through the lenses of Ignatian spirituality and pedagogy,” explains Stephen Chanderbhan, PhD, director of the Youth Theology Institute.

Click here to read more about the Institute and student experiences.

Brown ’83 Ordained to the Priesthood

Rev. Joseph Gatto, president-rector of Christ the King Seminary, receives the priest's first blessing from the newly-ordained Father Michael Brown ’83. Photo courtesy WNY Catholic. 

Bishop Richard J. Malone of the Diocese of Buffalo ordained Rev. Michael K. Brown ’83, and two other priests, at St. Joseph’s Cathedral on May 28.

“A great feeling of humility and docility was present with me that day,” says Father Brown. “I prayed, ‘Here I am Lord. I offer myself to serve as one of your priests and submit to what you feel is your will for me.’”
Father Brown says his Canisius experiences prepared him well for leadership roles throughout his government career, and now for the priesthood.  He also was greatly influenced by many of the Jesuits at the college.

Read more about Father Brown here.

Donor of the Month

Anthony Lana ’89

Anthony Lana ’89 is a criminal defense attorney with the firm of Eoannou Lana and D’Amico in Buffalo.
Lana has a real passion for Canisius and fond memories of campus life.
He formed life-long friendships at alma mater and his professors served as his mentors. “If I needed something, I knew my professors’ doors were always open. I would not have experienced that at a larger school.”

Giving Back to Alma Mater
“I give to the college and joined the Leadership Society to recognize the diverse, high-quality academics and small class sizes that I benefitted from at Canisius. I want to ensure that these types of opportunities are possible for today’s students.”

Advice for students:
“Keep an open mind as you begin your careers. Remain focused
on what you want to do with your lives,
and how you can apply your majors to accomplish your goals.”

If you would like to join Tony Lana ’89 and become a member of the Leadership Society, or make a gift of any size, visit

Canisius Students Celebrate World Youth Day

Canisius students pray during Mass in Lodz, Poland, which signified the start of MAGIS, a service-immersion program run by the Society of Jesus.

Nine Canisius students are among 2.5 million young people from nearly 185 countries celebrating World Youth Day (WYD) in Krakow, Poland, from July 15-July 31.

“Through my interactions with other young adult Catholics from around the world, I rediscovered God’s love and mercy that is within all of us,” said Megan Smith ’16 regarding her participation in WYD. “By sharing my faith and standing in solidarity, I made genuine, human connections that reminded me that we are all God’s children.”

During the event, Smith also participated in the Stations of the Cross with Pope Francis and Helena Mazurek '17 read a petition in Polish during a WYD service.

World Youth Day is organized by the Catholic Church and led, in part, by its spiritual leader, Pope Francis.  The event is a unique way to deepen one’s faith and grow closer to Christ by means of prayer and the sacrament.

Mike Hayes, director of campus ministry, and Greg Rusch, computer support technician for ITS, accompanied the students.

1st Annual max Charity Challenge

Tee up to benefit research programs at the Institute for Autism Research (IAR) at Canisius and help reduce tuition costs for participating families of children with autism spectrum disorder.

The 1st Annual max Charity Challenge will be held on Sunday, August 14 at Diamond Hawk Golf Course. Registration starts at 10 a.m.; shotgun start at 11 a.m.  Cost for the challenge is $135 per golfer or $500 for a foursome. 

Click here for more information or to register.

Dean Shick Retires, Returns to Classroom

Richard A. Shick, PhD, former dean of the Richard J. Wehle School of Business, and his wife, Linda, at his retirement party in Science Hall on June 29. 

Richard A. Shick, PhD, former dean of the Richard J. Wehle School of Business (WSB), gathered with faculty, staff, alumni, friends and former students at his retirement party on Wednesday, June 29. Shick was appointed interim dean of the WSB for the 2013-14 academic year. He previously served as dean for the WSB for 23 years.  A professor of finance, Shick will continue to teach at the college.

Schumacher ’72 Hosts Congressional Screening of PBS Documentary

On June 22, National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO)
President and CEO J. Donald Schumacher ’72, PsyD, organized a screening of the PBS/Frontline documentary "Being Mortal" for members of Congress and policymakers.

The screening was followed by a panel discussion, during which the group learned about the challenges the healthcare system faces when serving individuals with advanced and life-limiting illnesses.

Read more about the event here.

Canisius Happy Hour in Albuquerque

(l-r) James Pendergast ’75 and Eugene Szklarz ’43.

Albuquerque, NM-area alumni gathered in May for a Canisius Happy Hour hosted by James Pendergast ’75 at Seasons Rotisserie and Grill.  The group enjoyed an update about the college presented by Associate Vice President for Institutional Advancement Dianna Civello.

Gilbert ’90 promoted to VP for the Sabres and GM of HARBORCENTER

Michael M. Gilbert ’90 has been promoted to vice president of administration for the Buffalo Sabres and general manager of HARBORCENTER. In this role, he oversees the operation of the new multi-purpose downtown facility. Gilbert previously served as vice president of public and community relations for the Sabres.

Read more about Gilbert here.

Alumni Take Center Stage at Republican Convention

Two Canisius alumni were front-and-center at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland this month.

Christopher M. Kelly ’83 served as co-chair of the host committee for the 2016 Republican National Convention. He is a partner at the law firm of Jones Day in Cleveland, where he represents corporations and financing institutions in diverse domestic and international corporate finance matters. Kelly holds a degree in business economics and political science from Canisius.

Read more about Kelly here.

Stephanie McGrath ’13, a communication studies and political science graduate, acted as logistics director for communications during the convention. She previously served as operations director for Erie County Republican Chairman Nick Langworthy.

Read more about McGrath here.

Conacher ’11 Signs with Tampa Bay Lightning

Cory Conacher ’11 signed a one-year contract with the National Hockey League’s Tampa Bay Lightning. He previously played for the team in 2012-13 and had a stint with the Buffalo Sabres in 2013.  Conacher set 12 program records while he played at Canisius and still holds the school’s Division I mark for career points (147) and goals (62).

Read more about Conacher here.

Alumni Educators Honored for Excellence

Alison Barone MS ’09 and Thomas Betrus ’09, MS ’12 were finalists in the M&T Bank Touchdown for Teachers Program sponsored by M&T Bank and the Buffalo Bills. The program recognizes local teachers for outstanding service to their schools and communities. Barone, a physical education teacher at Lovejoy Discovery School, and Betrus, a fourth-grade teacher at Marilla Primary School, were chosen from 430 nominees.

Barone, who was nominated by fellow colleagues, former students and parents, was awarded the grand prize. She received a $2,000 grant and a classroom appearance by a Buffalo Bills player.

Read more about Barone and Betrus here.

Myles ’92 Opens Talk Coffee in Hamlin Park

Iced coffee, smoothies and burritos are just a few of the menu items at the new Talk Coffee on the corner of East Delavan and Meech Avenues in the college’s Hamlin Park neighborhood. Lawyer Karl Myles ’92 was looking for a change of pace when he decided to open the café.  Myles considers the location prime as he called the area “home” during his undergraduate years at the college.
Read more about Talk Coffee here.

Canisius Grads Involved in Buffalo Startup IfThen!

Digital media arts alumni Nicholas Barone ’06, Jonathan Gorczyca ’07 and Mark Taylor ’06 are part of a local start-up company IfThen! that connects non-profits to young donors in innovative ways.  

Read more about IfThen! here.

Alumnus Quoted in National Consumer Magazine

Charles J. Pelitera ’80, MS ’90, EdD, assistant professor of kinesiology, says the best way to maintain blood-glucose levels is through lifestyle changes, in this article on

To read the article, click here.