Sandra Estanek

Sandra Estanek

Dr. Sandra Estanek
Professor, Graduate Education and Leadership

I teach college student personnel administration to master’s students here at Canisius. What does magis mean to me as I prepare my students to work as student affairs professionals? What more will they bring to the field because they graduated from Canisius? I believe the answer is love.

What does love mean? In the spirit of our new pope…a Jesuit who took the name of the founder of the Franciscans…I think we can turn to the Dominican St. Thomas Aquinas for the answer. Aquinas reminds us that love is not an emotion…it is the structure of our being in the world. He defined love as “to seek the good of the other.”  I would argue that, given this definition, Student Affairs is always about love. When we advise our students in terms of their academics or to help them prepare for their careers, we seek their good; when we provide opportunities for leadership and even fun, we seek their good; when we connect them with new ideas and new people with different backgrounds and perspectives, we seek their good; when we get to know them and share their hopes and dreams, we seek their good.

St. Paul wrote in his letter about love addressed to the community at Corinth:  “If I speak in human and angelic tongues, but do not have love, I am a resounding gong or a clashing symbol. And if I have the gift of prophesy and comprehend all mysteries and all knowledge; if I have faith so as to move mountains but do not have love, I am nothing.”  St. Paul could be writing to us today. This is what it means to be a graduate of a Jesuit institution. This is what magis means to me.