Counseling Alumni Outcomes

Cameron Cilano

M.S. School Counseling 
Current Employer: Syracuse City School District 
Title: Elementary School Counselor

Before starting the Master's Program at Canisius University, I knew I wanted to pursue the mental health field per school counseling running in my family. Throughout the program, Canisius University gave me a sense of belonging into a community of mental health professionals, in which I would not trade for anything. While I had some hesitation in the beginning, it was the professors and students in the program that really helped me to gain the skill set, teamwork, professionalism, and empathic listening skills, to become the School Counselor that I am proud to be today. After completing the academic portion of the program, as well as the practicum and internship, the school helped in the practice of interviewing for School Counselor positions that we were all striving to obtain. Finishing the program, I had the honor of receiving the position as an Elementary School Counselor for a PK-8 building at Syracuse City School District. I cannot thank Canisius University enough for the growth and developmental skill sets they helped me to obtain, therefore leading me down this astounding path in my life. 

Aileen Doyle

Date of Graduation & Program
M.S. Clinical Mental Health Program, 2021

Current Employment
BestSelf Behavioral Health

Being a part of the Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program at Canisius University provided me the opportunity to grow, think critically, and enhance my knowledge, skills, and abilities, preparing me to enter the field. I was able to engage in hands-on learning opportunities through my practicum and internship experiences. Upon graduating from the program, after my summer 2021 semester, I  began my current position as a counselor with BestSelf Behavioral Health. The professors at Canisius are passionate about their work, professional, and invested in helping their students become the best versions of themselves. I enjoyed the small classroom environment where I worked closely with my colleagues, engaged in deep discussion about class material, and felt encouraged to reach for my goals.

Katrina Stork

Date of Graduation & Program
M.S. Clinical Mental Health Program, 2021

Current Employment
Horizon Health Services

The Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program at Canisius University has provided me with valuable knowledge, experience, and training that I have applied to my current position as an Intake Counselor at Horizon Health Services. My internship at Horizon Health Services provided me with an incredible career opportunity and I was fortunate to accept a full-time position after graduating in December 2021. The master’s program is an incredible opportunity to learn from skilled clinicians and professors, as well as from colleagues in the program. All the professors have immense experience in the clinical field, which strengthened my education around mental health counseling. The professors in the Counseling Education Department challenged me to step out of my comfort zone, encouraged me to take risks, and to remain curious as I begin my career in the mental health field. I am forever thankful for the professors, clinicians, and my internship cooperating counselor for the enriching academic experience. 

Christian Bryant

Date of Graduation & Program
M.S. School Counseling, 2018

Current Employment
Spectrum Health and Human Services

I am so excited you are thinking about choosing Canisius for your graduate career! I am very thankful for doing my graduate work at this institution. I fast tracked my initial Master’s program in two years to graduate in 2018 from the Graduate Counseling Program. I was encouraged to attend all hiring events near our area and was hired the first week of June as a school counselor. I realized throughout the initial quarantine I wanted to switch over to become a Licensed Mental Health Counselor. I was able to complete the bridge program and earn both my Advanced Certificate in Mental Health Counseling and Advanced Certificate in School Counseling in just one year, finishing both in December of 2021! Thankfully again, I was hired right out of my full time internship from Canisius at Spectrum Health and Human Services. When I think of Canisius, I immediately think of the unwavering support from the professors. With just a simple email or call, they would help with anything they could. I know I will be staying in touch with many professors throughout my career. I was encouraged to take on all experiences I could while attending Canisius. As a graduate student during my initial program I was able to get involved with the Institute for Autism Research, become a Resident Assistant on campus, do graduate assistantships at area colleges, and make some lifelong colleagues and friends. Get involved on and off campus, even as a graduate student, and I know you will love your experience! Go Griffs!

Christian Conner

Date of Graduation & Program
B.A. Psychology and Sociology 2019
M.S. School Counseling 2021

Current Employment
Elementary School Counselor 

My six years spent at Canisius University were critical in my professional and personal development. The small, close-knit classes are led by professors who truly care about students as individuals. I was advised early on to take advantage of all that Canisius has to offer, which led to a number of invaluable experiences including research opportunities, internships, and service learning experiences. While entering the field of school counseling during a particularly challenging year for students and professionals alike, I have felt extremely fortunate to have the support of the faculty and my colleagues from Canisius. Professors were flexible and patient in providing a superior education amidst a global pandemic, a time in which human connection, the basis of the counseling field, had to be reproduced in an online format. Some of the most valuable skills I have gained at Canisius have inspired me to go beyond just defining my role as a school counselor; I am also an educator, advocate, caring co-worker, team-player, and empathic listener. I think what makes the Canisius University Counseling Program special is the fact that it allows opportunities to grow and succeed in order to support others.

Samantha Makowski 

Graduation Date: May 2021 Clinical Mental Health Counseling
Current Employer/Position: PROS Program Counselor at Endeavor Health Services

After graduating from Canisius University with a B.S. in Psychology in May of 2019, I took the summer to think about what I could do to fulfill my life-long goal of being able to help people and make a positive difference in the community. I decided to inquire about Canisius’ Clinical Mental Health Counseling program. After hearing more about it, I applied and began my graduate school journey. By the time my first semester ended, I loved what I was learning and I felt confident in my developing skills as a future therapist! It was during my second semester that our world was shaken by the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. The rest of my graduate school career looked different, with professors and students alike having to get used to a virtual version of the program. The entire journey, however, I felt supported by our professors and by my peers. Everyone involved in the program was willing to lend support wherever we needed it, whether it be regarding our classes and education, or in our personal lives. I have since graduated and have been working as a counselor in Endeavor’s PROS program for a little over a year! Come this spring, I start a new path as a therapist for children and adolescents through Horizon Health. I am currently working towards my licensure and learning new tools and skills on a daily basis in the field! Canisius’ Clinical Mental Health Counseling program led me to success in my journey to become a therapist and make a difference in the community. I am forever grateful for what I have gained from this program!

Austin Baumann

MS in School Counseling, 2022
BA in Psychology
Minor in Neuropsychology

Experience at Canisius:
Earning a master’s degree in the midst of COVID-19 was not by any means the plan, however, I felt just as supported and valued virtually as I did when I attended in person. The professors in this department always found the time to assist me when I needed it and continued to make an impact on my education as I continued through the program. I originally attended Canisius for my Bachelor’s degree and continued there with my Master’s and though the institution was the same it was the programs that differentiated so well for me. I was able to gain loads of professional experience and knowledge through the higher education lens in a way that not only challenged me but also excited me. I was still able to do both my practicum and internship in person and both school sites gave me unique opportunities to find which school setting I was best suited for. Despite being unsure of where I would want to work in the future, I began my work as an intern in two very different environments which allowed me the freedom to explore. I am extremely thankful for these opportunities and the continued support of my peers and professors at Canisius. I look forward to engaging with this program in the future in any way possible.

What I’m Doing Now:
After completing my school counseling internship, I was immediately offered a job to stay at my current site. Due to the certifications in New York State, there is some time that graduated students must wait until the state approves their certifications. So, for the time being, I am working as a guidance sub until my certification is approved. Once approved, I will begin work as a School Counselor at Buffalo Public Schools. I am also working towards my permanent certification by taking the additional courses needed.

Katherine McFarland

The School Counseling program at Canisius University allowed me to obtain education to combine with my existing personal and professional experiences and passion in order to create an individual competent to fulfilling the duties and responsibilities of an effective school counselor. Entering into the program at the beginning of the pandemic, I was inspired to witness the flexibility, innovation, and adaptation by faculty and staff. This inspiration carried on throughout the duration of my academic career. Canisius motivated me to take the most of my time, and I took advantage of this by seeking out additional opportunities outside what was given to me through my education. This allowed me to walk away from my graduate program feeling confident and fulfilled. Canisius aided in enhancing my drive for equity, and social justice; awakening something I had failed to realize meant a lot to me. Thanks to Canisius, I was able to open my eyes , challenge myself, grow, and become confident in being the individual I strive to be who is ever-changing and ever-learning. 

MaryKate Delia

Canisius University Bachelor of Science 2019, Human Services & Sociology 
Canisius University Master of Science 2021, Certified School Counselor (currently provisional certification) 

Several years at Canisius have given me the opportunity to grow significantly in my academics, as well as my personal life and define who I am as a professional in this world. I entered my undergraduate program unsure of who I was and what I wanted to achieve during my four years. I left with knowledge and confidence in my ability to be a professional young woman in the world and I yearned for more. As I entered the Clinical Mental Health Counseling graduate program, I began having that familiar feeling of uncertainty. With the support and guidance of the professors in the program, along with my peers who felt like my family, I was able to find myself as a professional once again. I am now currently working in the Buffalo Public School as a counselor only 2 months after graduating from the School Counseling program. Canisius has given me the opportunity to connect thoroughly with other peers, learn in a more intimate environment, and gain experience in the field that prepares professionals for life, post-graduation. I am grateful for my time at Canisius and will cherish my memories for the rest of my life. 

Sarah Detty

Canisius University Master of Science 2016, School Counseling Program
Certificate of Advanced Study in Mental Health Counseling, Fall 2021

I enrolled in Canisius University’s Master of Science in School Counseling program as a transfer student. From the very first email I sent, I remember feeling supported and welcomed as a valuable part of the Counseling Department. The faculty were approachable and warm, which made the transfer process smooth. Throughout my coursework, I felt valued, challenged, and empowered by my professors as I learned the material, and it contributed greatly to my being able to face the working world with confidence and success. When I decided I wanted to be a Licensed Mental Health Counselor, returning to Canisius’ counseling department was the obvious choice. I completed the Advanced Certificate in Mental Health Counseling and have grown as a professional and as a person throughout the process. The faculty in the Counseling Department at Canisius are knowledgeable, understanding, and accommodating, while holding high expectations for each student. I could not be happier or more well prepared as a counselor and would recommend Canisius’ Counseling Department to those at any stage of life.”

John Breckner, PhD, CASAC '08
M.S. Counseling, emphasis in School
Current Employer – Canisius University & Genesee Community College
Title - Adjunct Professor of Counseling & Psychology

Relevant experience
I previously worked at Children’s Hospital of Buffalo where I was a Counselor and Program Coordinator for the Sexually Inappropriate Behaviors (SIB) clinic. More recently, I was a Counselor at Horizon Health Services where I typically worked with legally mandated individuals who were struggling with addiction. Lastly, while living in Tennessee, I was a school counselor.  

Experience as master’s student
My experience as a master’s student can be summarized as a sense of community and family. While this can be a cliché answer for other academic institutions and employers, Canisius excels in this regard whereas for others, it is merely lip service. For example, I spent time at two large universities during my undergraduate career and had just moved back home to Buffalo, NY when I enrolled at Canisius. A month into my graduate career, the October Surprise storm hit the area and my family and I were snowed in and without power for a week. Despite being new to the program, I was taken aback when one of my classmates took the time out of her day to call and make sure that I was safe and ok. This was before a quick text was the preferred means of communication. This closeness and sense of community continued throughout my tenure and ultimately was a reason I wanted to return to Canisius in any capacity.

What you’re currently doing & how Canisius impacted you. 
I currently teach in the Canisius Counseling program as well as for a local community college. Canisius provided me with an opportunity to hone my counseling and writing skills, giving me the foundation to succeed at the doctoral level and beyond. 

Timothy White '18
I had very high expectations when I accepted admission into the Clinical Mental Health Counseling program at Canisius University. I entered the program with a B.A. in Art and a career in non-profit arts management. Without a strong background in psychology, the coursework proved to be a huge challenge for me. However, with a great passion for helping others, I received an abundance of help in-kind from my professors and peers. I loved how each professor shared their own unique counseling style and I was continually impressed with their professionalism, insights, and empathic skills. Among students, our many powerful learning experiences together resulted in tight friendships and lasting connections. When the time came for practicum and internship, the faculty made great efforts to match me with placements that both challenged me and aligned with my interests. Now as I graduate, I am interviewing for positions with several community mental health agencies and I am pleasantly surprised with just how prepared I am when I speak with experienced clinicians. Looking back, I feel that the Clinical Mental Health Counseling program at Canisius University met all of my expectations and provided me with every opportunity of growth I needed to become a professional counselor.

David Musielak '12
Great people who value relationships and high quality classroom engagement is how I remember the Canisius College School Counseling Graduate Program. Since
graduating in 2012; I’ve spent the last 6 years utilizing the skills that Canisius cultivated and continued to grow as a professional in the field. In my current role as a 9-12 School Counselor at the Charter School for Applied Technologies, there are a myriad of challenges that may come across my desk at any given moment including; student conflict, trauma, truancy, social-emotional issues, substance abuse, and many more concerns which I feel prepared to support due in part to the great experience and guidance provided by Canisius. In addition to working as a practicing school counselor, I also currently hold the elected position of treasurer for the Western New York School Counselors Association and am a committee member/editor/contributor for the New York State Association for College Admissions Counseling Newsletter. Again if it were not for the Canisius emphasis on networking and stepping outside your comfort zone, I may have not been considered for these positions. I look forward to representing the Golden Griffins for many more years as a school counselor and Buffalonian.

Belinda Westfield
Masters of Science in Counselor Education in 1996 – Canisius
Licensed Mental Health Counselor
Masters of Science in Educational Administration 2018 – Canisius
School Counselor at Depew Union Free Schools – 23 years
Adjunct Professor at Canisius in the Counselor Education program – 7 years

The Counselor Education Program at Canisius University opened up a new world for me in many
ways. I always knew I wanted to help others, make a positive difference within my community,
and be a part of promoting social justice through my faith and spirituality. When reflecting upon
my graduate experiences, I grew and developed as an individual both educationally and
professionally speaking. I gained fresh knowledge from my interesting courses, skills from case
studies/role plays/coached counseling sessions, and experiences from my guided practicums
and internships. I also became more confident and empowered with my desire to create
positive change within others. I enjoyed my studies so much in my younger years, I recently
returned to Canisius to further develop my education and enhance my opportunities. When I’m
on campus, I feel like I’m back home, where I belong.

Rich Tippett '17
I currently work for Bestself Behavioral Health as a mental health counselor in a PROS program. While attending this program I was encouraged to push beyond my comfort zone both personally and professionally which helped me to easily adjust to life beyond graduate school. The aspect of this program that stood out to me the most was the mentorship and support I received not only from professors, but my peers as well. Attending this program helped me grow from a counselor-in-training to the professional counselor I am today.