McNally Named Director of All College Honors

August 19, 2020


BUFFALO, NY – The Canisius College Office of Academic Affairs has appointed Janet M. McNally director of the All College Honors Program. The Canisius program provides academically gifted, highly motivated undergraduate students with an accelerated and enhanced intellectual experience. By challenging students to develop intellectual curiosity and rigor, independent reasoning and creativity, graduates of the program develop superior communication skills, leadership potential and a system for ethical decision-making.  The program is further complemented by co-curricular and extra-curricular activities intended to nurture the academic, cultural and social development of students.  McNally replaces former All College Honors Director Bruce J. Dierenfield, PhD, professor of history, who retired from the college in July 2020 after serving 14 years in the position.

McNally is an associate professor of English and creative writing at Canisius.  Prior to her appointment as director, she taught a variety of All College Honors courses focused on her interest areas, which include contemporary American fiction and poetry, American immigrant writers, rock and roll and literature, and contemporary retellings of myths and fairy tales.  McNally also directed students’ creative honors theses, which requires students to produce story or poetry collections. 

Janet McNally

In addition to her scholarly work, McNally is a published novelist and poet.  She is the author of two young adult novels, The Looking Glass and Girls in the Moon, and published a prizewinning collection of poems titled Some Girls.  McNally’s work also earned her two fellowships with the New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship in Fiction. 

She holds a bachelor of arts degree in English and communication studies from Canisius College and a master of fine arts degree in fiction from the University of Notre Dame.   

Students enrolled in the All College Honors program make up the top 10 percent of applicants to the college and have excelled academically in high school and on college entrance exams.  The average high school GPA of Canisius honors students is 96 percent; the median ACT score is 29; and the median SAT score is 1340. 

The All College Honors program at Canisius holds affiliations with the National Collegiate Honors Council, the Association of Jesuit Colleges & Universities, and the Northeast Regional Honors Council.

One of 27 Jesuit universities, Canisius is the premier private university in Western New York. Canisius celebrates its sesquicentennial anniversary during the 2019-20 academic year, marking 150 years of Jesuit education and leadership in the city of Buffalo and Western New York. Visit for more information about Canisius’ milestones and celebratory events.