In Memoriam

March 1, 2016


BUFFALO, NY – It is with deep sadness that Canisius Magazine reports on the passing of four current and former professors.

Susan M. Aronica, PhD, professor and chair of the Biology Department, died suddenly on February 9 from heart-related complications. Hired by Canisius in 1997, her passing leaves a huge hole at Canisius, as she touched all areas of campus with her dedication, passion and commitment to the college, the biology program, its students and its alumni.

As chair of the department of biology for the last eight years, she shepherded the new biology curriculum, mentored countless faculty and students, and epitomized a standard of excellence that infused all that she did. Her unwavering commitment and dedication to Canisius were recognized when she was promoted to full professor in 2009.

“It was clear from her initial hiring in 1997, that she was a fierce advocate for students,” said close friend and colleague Sara Morris, PhD, associate vice president for academic affairs. “Her classes were extremely popular, generally having long wait lists. Her classes were not easy because she demanded that students use their minds and think about how systems would work together, not simply describing the system. In fact, even at the end of her life, she was teaching her doctors about the intricacies of heart function. In her research lab, she studied how chemical signals could affect the growth and development of breast cancer. She challenged students to take their knowledge and ask new questions. Her students became research collaborators who developed their own questions and theories under her mentorship. She enjoyed taking her students to the annual endocrinology society conference to present their work, where they were often mistaken for graduate students. Her proudest moments were when a paper was accepted for publication, which she always attributed to the student involved. Susan believed that students would rise to meet high expectations, and she wasn’t disappointed. Her students met her expectations and developed an intense respect for her as a teacher, scholar and mentor.”

Emeritus Professor of Philosophy George J. Lavere, PhD, passed away on February 2 at the age of 91. Lavere taught at Canisius for more than 30 years before his retirement in 1987.

Born in Oswego, Lavere graduated from Oswego High School. He was a World War II veteran and served in the Army as an infantryman in the European Theater, receiving three Bronze Stars.

Following the war, Lavere earned a bachelor’s degree in Latin, Greek and history from St. Bonaventure University, a master’s degree in medieval studies from the University of Toronto and a doctoral degree in philosophy from Laval University in Montreal, Quebec.

He taught at Villanova University before moving to Western New York, where he became professor of philosophy at Canisius College.

Linda Volonino, PhD, entered into rest on December 20, 2015 following complications of a stroke. A professor of information systems, Volonino taught undergraduate and graduate coursework, and authored several books on computer forensics.

She joined the Canisius faculty in 1986 and taught undergraduate and graduate coursework in telecommunications, information systems and data mining. Volonino also established coursework in computer forensics and cyber security. She authored several books on the subjects including Computer Forensics for Dummies (2008), which she co-authored with Reynaldo Anzaldua of South Texas College; e-Discovery for Dummies (2009), which she co-authored with Ian Redpath, chair of the Accounting Department at Canisius; and Information Technology for Management: Digital Strategies for Insight, Action and Sustainable Performance, which she co-authored with Gregory R. Wood, PhD, associate dean of the Wehle School of Business, and Efraim Turban, a visiting scholar at the Pacific Institute for Information System Management, University of Hawaii.

Outside of Canisius, Volonino shared her expertise with location and national law enforcement and government agencies, educating investigators on how to use computer forensics as a valuable criminal justice tool and also how to combat computer crime.

Volonino earned a BS in psychology from Mercy College and an MBA in management information systems from SUNY Buffalo, where she also received a PhD in management information systems, with minors in management science and managerial economics.

Ray Annino, PhD, a longtime professor in the college’s Chemistry and Biochemistry departments, passed away in May 9, 2015 at the age of 87.

An engaging educator and accomplished mentor, Annino joined the Canisius faculty in 1960 as an analytical chemist. He left the college for a brief time in 1967 to join Foxboro Instrument Co. Annino’s early research investigated the mechanism of electroreductions of organic compounds. He returned to Canisius in 1972, where he applied his industrial experience in instrumentation to research in gas chromatography.  

Annino will be remembered as the first faculty member to receive the Schoellkopf Medal. Conferred by the Western New York section of the American Chemical Society, the prestigious award recognized Annino for his contributions to the technology of gas chromatography, the development of the Pneumatic Gas Chromatograph, and its use in process control.

During his combined careers in academics and industry, there were many highlights. Annino was a co-inventor of the all-pneumatic, on-line gas chromatograph (commercialized by the Foxboro Company as the PCT), which received an IR-100 award. In addition to his some 80 journal publications and five patents, he co-authored two books: The Use of Personal Computers in the Laboratory and Process Gas Chromatography: Fundamentals and Applications.