Alumni Spotlight: Therese Hickok '96
BUFFALO, NY - As a student, Therese Hickok ’96 was president of her sorority, an admissions ambassador and a college tour guide. She was so involved on campus that she earned induction into the prestigious DiGamma Honor Society. Years later, with a robust career, Hickok marries her professional expertise with her natural desires to be involved and give back.
“I was lucky to have many club and internship opportunities at Canisius, which helped me develop my strengths. And I had incredible support from faculty, particularly Barbara Irwin, PhD (professor of communication studies),” says Hickok. Irwin guided Hickok through her first internship, helped her navigate job opportunities based on her strengths, and ultimately gave Hickok the support she needed to switch her career focus.
Hickok worked in broadcast journalism after graduation before she found her calling in public relations and marketing. She began at the Buffalo Economic Renaissance Corporation and, later, Buffalo Niagara Enterprise, where Hickok focused on marketing Buffalo to businesses and investors. She has since held senior level marketing positions in the healthcare industry and at Uniland Development Company. Hickok’s career evolution came full circle in 2013 when she became vice president of marketing and engagement for the Buffalo Niagara Partnership. The agency works to expand private sector jobs and investments in the region and although its reputation is strong amongst members, the broader community is unfamiliar with the role it plays in the community. Hickok’s job is to change that by spreading news of the Partnership’s accomplishments and energizing the community around those successes. In other words, she builds engagement, and for her, it’s a calling that is second nature.
Hickok is loyally engaged with Canisius, and especially with students. She shares her expertise as a career mentor and as a guest speaker on media ethics. As an alumni liaison for the Canisius chapter of the American Marketing Association (AMA), Hickok arranges for students to meet and spend a day onsite with local marketing professionals. She gets to know individual students, gives them advice, support, even professional contacts. Her goal, she says, is to encourage students to set and meet their own objectives, whatever those may be.
“There are some people who you know you can call who will give you good advice, their time, their expertise,” says Canisius Fund Director Erin Hartnett who met Hickok through the alumna’s continued involvement with the college. “Therese is one of those people. She’ll go to bat for you.”