Office for Diversity and Inclusion

The Office of Diversity and Inclusion is committed to advancing diversity, equity and inclusion at all levels of the college. 

Statement on Diversity and Inclusion at Canisius

Consistent with our Catholic Jesuit mission and identity, we stand in solidarity with and advocate for everyone of all abilities, identities, life experiences, and perspectives.

As a campus located in a diverse Buffalo community, we are committed to:  

  • Creating a culture of acceptance, awareness, learning, respect, and understanding inside and outside of the classroom
  • Pursuing academic excellence through a curriculum of diverse ideas and vibrant interpersonal classroom experiences that challenge individuals to grow
  • Promoting a safe and welcoming experience that encourages questioning and discussion
  • Advancing equity by removing institutional barriers to success for all members of the community
  • Developing lifelong learners who contribute to an increasingly diverse and global society

Unveiled in 2020, the statement reflects the work of a subcommittee led by the associate dean and made up of undergraduate and graduate students, faculty, student affairs and facilities management staff, as well as neighbors from the Hamlin Park Taxpayer Association. 

Stephanie Barber Geter, president, Hamlin Park Community & Taxpayers Association
Sierra M. Bonerb, associate director, Support Services-Accessibility Support & Veterans
Paola C. Fajardo-Heyward, PhD, associate professor, Political Science/Faculty-Student Liaison, Faculty Senate
Deanna Garwol, student, Campus Ministry Intern
Susan C. Gruttadauria, administrative associate, Computer Science, Math, Physics and Core
Donald Hamilton, staff, Facilities Management
Mylan Hawkins, student, ULLC
Abby Hughes, student, 2019-2020 USA President
Jabril Moore, graduate student, HESA
Lizzy Nankumba, student, ULLC
Rodrigo Ortiz, student, Executive Board LASAF
Brian Smith, director, International Students & Study Abroad
Malini C. Suchak, PhD, associate professor, ABEC

A Message from the Associate DeanFatima Johnson Canisius

Canisius College is an educational community comprised of students and employees with varied backgrounds and life experiences. Together, we can help make diversity and inclusion a priority in our daily work and interactions. While my role as associate dean for diversity and inclusion may serve as a focal point for this work, the responsibility for putting our values into action belongs to each of us. 
The goal is to work collaboratively toward a truly inclusive experience throughout all aspects of campus life. Together, we can help each member of the college community understand and appreciate how diversity and inclusion on campus strengthens all of us.

Canisius is a special place and I am honored to be a part of this important work. I would like to thank the students, staff, faculty, administrators, alumni and community members who have laid the foundation for promoting diversity and inclusion at Canisius.

Fatima Rodriguez Johnson, MS ‘98, ACTLD
Associate Dean for Diversity and Inclusion

Ms. Johnson provides leadership, coordination and strategic planning for all campus-wide initiatives to advance diversity, equity and inclusion. She has two decades of experience working in higher education and previously served as the associate dean of students for multicultural programs and services at the State University of New York at Geneseo. A native of Buffalo, she earned her bachelor of arts in sociology from the State University of New York at Fredonia and her master of science in higher education administration from Canisius College. In 2017 she was honored with the INSIGHT into Diversity Giving Back Award.