Alumni in the News - March 2017

March 26, 2017


St. Jude Honors Legacy of Donald Pinkel ’47, MD
Research led to groundbreaking treatments for childhood cancers

Donald Pinkel ’47, MD, was honored by St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital for his groundbreaking work to fight and cure childhood cancers and for saving the lives of countless children. 

Donald Pinkel ’47, MD

The hospital recognized Pinkel’s pioneering work by renaming its principal research tower in his name during a ceremony on March 17. It is the first building on the St. Jude campus to be named in honor of a physician or scientist.

Pinkel helped establish the “bench-to-bedside” relationship between clinicians and research investigators at the hospital, which resulted in the innovative Total Therapy approach.  This approach combined multiple cancer-fighting drugs, and survival rates for children rose dramatically from a near fatal disease when St. Jude opened in 1962. Today, 94 percent of children treated at St. Jude survive.

Actress Marlo Thomas, national outreach director for St. Jude and daughter of founder Danny Thomas, attended the ceremony in Pinkel’s honor and said, “I don’t think there is anybody we are more grateful to than Donald Pinkel. He is simply the cornerstone and foundation of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.”

Click here and here to read more about Pinkel.

Joe Van Volkenburg ’88 at St. Luke’s Mission of Mercy.

Headline: Van Volkenburg ’88 Wins One Buffalo Community Award
Campus minister honored for going above and beyond in service initiatives

Senior Associate Campus Minister J. Joseph Van Volkenburg ’88, affectionately known as “JVV,” is being recognized for going above and beyond in his service to the community. Van Volkenburg is the latest recipient of the One Buffalo Community Award established by Pegula Sports and Entertainment and presented by the New Era Cap Company to individuals who make Western New York a better place by going out of their way to positively impact the region.

Van Volkenburg works tirelessly to involve Canisius students, faculty and staff in local community outreach with Buffalo’s poor and homeless populations.  He spearheads such programs as the Burrito Project, the Sandwich & Spirituality Ministry, Meals on Wheels and Habitat for Humanity.  St. Luke’s Mission of Mercy is perhaps the greatest beneficiary of Van Volkenburg’s generous spirit.  His is not only personally committed to the work of the mission but recruits countless members of the college community to assist in the dining room, the Mission Mall and St. Luke’s School.

Pegula Sports and Entertainment, the Buffalo Bills and the Buffalo Sabres will donate $2,500 to St. Luke’s Mission of Mercy as designated by Van Volkenburg.

“When our students go to St. Luke’s, they are serving the poorest of the poor, the most needy, most forgotten of God’s children,” says Van Volkenburg. “St. Luke’s provides dignity and hope.”

He was nominated for the One Buffalo Community Award by Karl Kozlowski, PhD, associate professor of kinesiology at the college.

Van Volkenburg was recognized with a video tribute during the Buffalo Sabres game on March 27.

Click here to watch the video.


Sherrie Riles-Martin ’06

Riles-Martin ’06 Recognized for Hard Work and Dedication
Earns Teacher of the Year Award

Sherrie Riles-Martin ’06 earned the 2017 Teacher of the Year award at Lane School in the Aldine Independent School District (ISD). Her hard work and dedication was recognized at an awards ceremony in March.

Riles-Martin has been a teacher in the Aldine school district for nearly 11 years. Aldine ISD is located in Houston, TX and serves approximately 70,000 students.

Canisius Group Participates in March for Life
Van Volkenburg ’88 leads college contingent

J. Joseph Van Volkenburg ’88, senior associate campus minister, led a Canisius contingent of 18 students to the 44th annual March for Life, the largest pro-life demonstration in the world, held in Washington, D.C.  The group traveled with the Diocese of Buffalo’s Office of Pro-Life Activities and was featured in an article in Western New York Catholic.

Click here to read more.

Alumnus Publishes Book for New Police Officers
Guida ’07 offers field training expertise

Jeremy Guida ’07 offers his expertise in the book Proven: Tips and Techniques Every Police Officer Should Know. As a field training officer in the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan area, Guida seeks to accelerate the learning curve of new officers in the hopes they will be better prepared to meet the challenges and demands faced on the job.

While at Canisius, Guida majored in criminal justice and psychology. His book is available on